District Announces Administrative Changes in Face of Cuts

Patrick Kelley, 47, has been appointed as deputy superintendent of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. Kelley replaces Buck DeWeese, who retired after serving in the position for six years.

There's a new deputy superintendent in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District, along with several administrative changes at the school site levels.

Patrick Kelley, 47, who has served as assistant superintendent of human resources for seven years, is taking over as deputy superintendent upon the retirement of 23-year district employee Buck DeWeese.

Kelley's appointment became effective with a unanimous school board vote Thursday.

Kelley has been with the district for 21 years, according to a news release. He served as principal at Rail Ranch and Buchanan elementary schools. Prior to that, he served as coordinator of child welfare and attendance and assistant principal. In July 2003, he was appointed director of human resources and in 2005 assistant superintendent of human resources. 

Kelley earned a bachelor's degree from the University of San Diego, a master's degree from Purdue University, a Tier 1 administrative credential from Azusa Pacific University and a Tier 11 administrative credential from the University of LaVerne. 

Across the Board Cuts

Kelley’s promotion will not come with a pay raise. He will earn the same salary, $141,369, which includes a 7.5 percent reduction; $152,831 without any reduction, said Karen Parris, district spokesperson.

The district's 2012-2013 operating budget that was approved by the board Thursday shows $142.45 million in revenue and $150.34 million in expenditures. The gap will be closed by the use of reserve funds, according to Stacey Coleman, assistant superintendent of business services.

That will take the ending fund balance for 2012-2013 down to $4.1 million, Coleman said—not enough to meet the district's required 3 percent reserve funding.

"Ten fiscal years ago is the level we are being funded at right now so if we want to put it into perspective there it is," Coleman said.

The superintendent and assistant superintendents are taking the same 9.66 percent salary reduction as the other district employees; 2.16 percent was taken in 2011-2012 and 7.5 percent will be taken in 2012-2013, Parris said.

Administrative Reassignments

The following reassignments mean the district will down by 2.5 administrative positions.

The school board approved the moves Thursday "in order to continue to provide administrative and counseling support to all of our schools in the face of the ongoing fiscal crisis in the state and shifting enrollment at our school sites," Parris said.

"These new assignments will utilize the special talents of these administrators and counselors and match their skills and strengths with the needs at the sites and allow us to continue to provide much needed support directly to students," Parris said. 

—Luis Ortiz, currently the assistant principal at Monte Vista Elementary, will become Assistant Principal at Tovashal and Rail Ranch;  

—Pam Picchiottino, assistant principal at Tovashal Elementary School, will become the assistant principal at Monte Vista Elementary School;

—Celeste Scallion, a teacher on special assignment at Buchanan since Tammy Hunter-Wethers moved to Rail Ranch, will be an assistant principal at Warm Springs;

—Jennifer Randal, currently an assistant principal at Warm Springs, will serve as assistant principal at Buchanan.  

—Kathy Dixon, an assistant principal at Shivela, will be an assistant principal at Thompson Middle School;

—Michael Moore, an assistant principal at Thompson, will be an assistant principal at Shivela Middle School;

—John Fox, currently serving as a teacher on special assignment at Thompson, will remain at Thompson Middle School as an assistant principal;

—Frank Fravel, currently a counselor at Murrieta Valley High School, will be a counselor at Thompson Middle School;

—Mary Davis , currently a counselor at Warm Springs, will move to Student Support where she will serve as the counselor for Carpe Diem and Tenaja Canyon;  

—Mary Ricks, currently a counselor at Shivela, will be a counselor at Warm Springs Middle School;

—Sharon Tucker, currently a counselor at Thompson, will be a counselor at Shivela Middle School;

—Christine Wood, currently a counselor at Shivela, will be a counselor at Dorothy McElhinney Middle School;

—Rob Lurkins, currently a teacher on special assignment at E. Hale Curran, will serve as assistant principal at Murrieta Elementary School; and

—Raul Esteves, currently the custodial crew leader, will become operations supervisor.   

The reassignments are effective July 1 for the 2012-2013 school year, Parris said.

"We are excited to have these administrators make the transition to their new positions for the 2012-2013 school year. Their experience, skills and proven leadership abilities make each of them the ideal candidate for these vital positions," said Deputy Superintendent Kelley.

New Head of HR

Replacing Kelley as assistant superintendent of human resources will be Pamela Wilson.

Wilson, 52, has served in public education for 30 years, the news release stated. She was a junior high and high school English teacher for 14 years. Wilson then served as an elementary assistant principal for three years, assistant principal at Thompson Middle School for three years and deputy principal at Vista Murrieta High School for four years. 

She became the district’s director of human resources in 2007. Wilson has a bachelor's degree in English from California State University Long Beach, a master's degree in education and school administration from Azusa Pacific University, and Tier 1 and Tier 11 administrative credentials. 

Wilson’s salary for the 2012-2013 school year will be $125,524, which includes a 7.5 percent reduction, $135,702 without any reduction, Parris said.


At least 75 employees took a retirement incentive offered by the district. Many of those will not be replaced in an effort to further curtail budget constraints.

DeWeese was among them. He served as deputy superintendent for six years after serving as assistant superintendent of human resources for six years. Prior to that he served as principal at Alta Murrieta and Murrieta elementary schools.

Superintendent Stan Scheer wished DeWeese the best.

"Buck guided the district through a tremendous growth period. Over the years his leadership, professionalism and integrity were instrumental in establishing the culture of the district and he was known for always keeping the focus centered on what was best for students," Scheer said. "He will be missed and we wish him all the best in retirement."

Gayle Vergara June 22, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Congratulations to Mr. Kelley. How fortunate we are in Murrieta to have such great leaders in our School District. Gayle Vergara
Katie Rucker July 17, 2012 at 04:36 PM
This man was my principal at Rail Ranch Elementary 15 years ago, and my older sister's even longer ago. I remember he was always very kind; I'm glad that he's doing so well :) Katie Rucker


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