NEWARK -- Superintendent Dave Marken rescinded his resignation Thursday, telling school board members in a letter that he will continue to lead Newark schools until his contract expires next June.

"My duty is to the students of Newark, and so I will no longer remain unresponsive to the overwhelming support of the community and leadership of the district," Marken said in the letter. "I am rescinding my resignation, effective immediately, and will fulfill the terms of my contract."

His letter was sent a day before the five-member school board planned to interview at least one candidate to replace him. The interview is scheduled for closed session at a special board meeting at 3 p.m. Friday, at the Silliman Center, 6800 Mowry Ave.

"It's a little late," trustee Gary Stadler said of Marken's decision to stay. "He waited until this process got all the way down ... to where we're ready for interviews, and then he wants to rescind?"

Since Marken's resignation in late May, board critics have crowded public meetings, saying trustees chased him away by micromanaging the superintendent and district employees.

Dozens of speakers have called on Marken to stay. Some have asked Stadler to resign and incumbent board candidates Nancy Thomas and Charlie Mensinger to not seek re-election. Instead, the five-member board last month accepted Marken's resignation, effective Sept. 30.


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"I am disheartened that the Newark school board has not listened to the requests of the Newark Unified staff and parent community," Marken wrote, "And is actively taking steps in a direction contrary to their stated appeals."

Marken, who became Newark superintendent in April 2011, has been praised for revitalizing a struggling district.

Marken said in an interview Thursday that the school board "needs to be reconfigured" for Newark Unified to continue its success.

"All I heard when I resigned was that the board wanted me to rescind," Marken said. "If that offer still stands, then I still have time to bring about change in the board structure, and I can best help manage that if I stay in my seat."

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.