The Poway Unified School District headquarters on Monday, July 30, 2012, in San Diego, California, U.S.
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Dissension in the district

The Poway Unified School District headquarters on Monday, July 30, 2012, in San Diego, California, U.S.
Photo courtesy of

Over the course of the past months, discussion has been stirring within and without the walls of PUSD board meetings. The root of this discussion stems back to the end of the 2014-2015 school year when the board held a vote regarding teacher raises (See more about the Poway Board Meeting).

Board members Charles Sellers and Kimberley Beatty voted against teacher raises, while  Michelle O’Connor-Radcliff, T.J. Zane, and Andy Patapow voted for the raise.

As seen, Sellers and Beatty made up the minority and the others made up the majority. A petition was sent out to remove Patapow, board member of 19 years, from the PUSD board, which would lead to a special election for someone to replace Patapow’s position around the start of the 2016-2017 school year.  

According to Pomerado News, those supporting the recall describe their purpose as “holding Patapow accountable for his 2010 and 2011 votes supporting the use of capital appreciation bonds (CABs) to pay off loans taken out by the district to finance the renovation of older campuses in the district.”

This petition ignited a myriad of opinions and voices from parents to members of the teacher union. Among the notable voices in the topic of contention is Chris Garnier, a parent banned from Painted Rock Elementary School after a conflict with school employees and one of the major advocates for the recall of Patapow.

Others who support the recall include Garnier’s father Keith Wilson who was quoted in the San Diego Union Tribune as saying, “I’m angry […]. Any of the board members who think the status quo is fine, (are) badly mistaken.”

On the other side of the spectrum, people have also been voicing their opinions against the recall of Patapow. Former trustee Marc Davis described the whole petition by saying,  “This is silly,” in the San Diego Union Tribune.

As a result of the controversy surrounding the issue, the San Diego County district attorney’s office contacted the PUSD legal counsel about the unlawful utilization of district emails for political purposes. Tuesday Oct. 13, all employees of PUSD were issued a memo regarding this situation. Consequently, some employees took their views to online blogs. Among them are Horace Mann ( and the author of Poway Bogeyman (

The Board of Education Poway blog describes the  recall effort as a “a spiteful action against a man of integrity and honor, by a group of angry, disgruntled people, who have an agenda that is not focused on children and education. It is time to send them a message.”

In the past week, new topics have arisen surrounding the possible firing of Superintendent Collins, putting not only the nature of the entire district into question, but also the communities encompassing the schools.

Written by Chloe Jiang

Chloe Jiang is a senior and a co-editor-in-chief of The Sun, a tea aficionado, a La Jolla Cove frequenter, a grammar snob, and an advocate for gender equality. Among her favorite words are bougie and trite.

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