ANTIOCH -- School district trustees this week appointed Scott Bergerhouse as principal of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School Dependent Charter, which will open in August.
Bergerhouse, a 30-year employee of the district, is currently principal at Carmen Dragon Elementary.
"This is a mission and a challenge, and I accept it with full confidence," Bergerhouse told the board Wednesday.
The move surprised some Dozier-Libbey students, parents and teachers, who learned about it on Thursday morning after seeing a banner at the school welcoming the new principal. Some students created their own banner later that day and dressed in black Friday in support of current Principal Nancie Castro. They also staged a brief walkout Friday morning.
With just 31 days left until the end of the school year, a dependent charter principal had to be put in place, said Superintendent Donald Gill, explaining the timing of the move.
Dueling petitions are being reviewed for the medical-themed high school: the district's dependent charter and an independent charter submitted by its teachers. The district rejected the teachers' charter submission in late March. Both theirs and the disrict's plans will be considered by the County Board of Education in early May.
In his new role, Bergerhouse will form a community advisory committee to determine what supports and enhancements will be needed and meeting with student and parent focus groups to plan for the opening of the school, Stephanie Anello, associate superintendent of educational services, said in a news release.
Bergerhouse was at the Dozier-Libbey Medical High School campus Thursday to meet students, parents and staff and will remain there for the rest of the school year, according to a district news release.
Castro is still the principal at Dozier-Libbey, district officials said. Bill Bolio is serving as principal of Carmen Dragon in the interim.
"I'm feeling very grateful, Castro said of the support she's received. "It's been a tough, confusing time."
Castro said she knew the appointment was on the agenda but felt "left out of the loop" in how it played out.
Castro was not considered for the position because she indicated several weeks ago that she had decided to stand with her school and faculty and that when the time came, she intended to apply for the position of charter director, district officials said.
Castro said that statement came before the dependent charter was proposed, so that option did not exist then. Further, expressing interest in applying for a job should not eliminate her opportunity to apply for others, she said.
The future of the district's dependent charter effort hinges in part on an April 28 court hearing on the teachers' request for an injunction.
Officials said the district has no contingency plan if the dependent charter is ordered to stop moving forward, but if that happens Bergerhouse would be moved to a different district administrative position.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.