Superintendent’s teaching gig causes angst

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 20, 2013 

The desire of the Los Banos Unified School District superintendent to take a second job was met with some resistance last week.

Steve Tietjen on Dec. 12 asked the school board to allow him to teach at California State University, Stanislaus, for the spring 2014 semester. The request appeared on the board’s consent agenda, which typically is reserved for procedural items that garner unanimous approval.

School board Trustee Carole Duffy requested a separate vote on the teaching assignment because some members of the public contacted her with concerns.

“I just feel that being superintendent is a full-time position. I know they say it (teaching) won’t take up any of your time, but I know it takes preparation to teach. ” Duffy said. “ Regardless of who the superintendent was, I would still feel that way. I also received several calls once the agenda came out. The people that called me weren’t in favor of it either.”

Duffy said she does not believe the leader of the school district should have another line of work.

“I feel that our superintendent should only wear one hat,” she said.

Trustee Chase Hurley disagreed with Duffy.

“He’s an employee just like hundreds of other employees we have, many of those have second and third jobs. As long as it doesn’t affect their ability to do their day job...,” Hurley said.

Tietjen, who was hired as superintendent in 2007, has a clause in his contract stating he must get school board approval before taking a second job. The board voted 6-1, with Duffy being the lone holdout, to let Tietjen teach.

Tietjen, who is a former superintendent at Woodlake Public Schools, said he has a decade’s worth of experience teaching in Fresno and knows how to divide his time properly. He said he will teach principalship on the Stanislaus campus from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays. He said his preparation time will be reserved for Saturdays.

Reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 826-3831 ext. 6563 or by email at cpride@losbanos

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