and Doug Oakley
NEWARK — School board trustee Gary Stadler, accused by critics of chasing away a popular and effective superintendent, has resigned.
Stadler announced his decision early Wednesday after a Tuesday night meeting in which several speakers lambasted the school board for chasing away Superintendent Dave Marken, credited by many with reviving the struggling district. Marken's last day was Friday.
"I have done some soul searching and effective immediately I'm resigning from the Newark Unified School Board," Stadler said Wednesday in a written statement.
"There have been times that I haven't been the best school board member I could have been, and for this I humbly apologize. The community has spoken and the staff has spoken and I have listened, so I will resign effective immediately."
Board President Nancy Thomas said Tuesday's meeting was "very vitriolic, very heated, with public comment especially directed at member Stadler and member Ray Rodriguez."
"I think you could write a book about all the things that have happened in the Newark school district and nobody would believe you," Thomas said Wednesday morning.
Stadler is leaving a week after fellow trustee Charlie Mensinger announced he will not seek re-election in November. Both school board members for months have been targets of the community outcry over Marken's resignation.
Thomas said she and Stadler would go to the Alameda County Office of Education on Wednesday with the trustee's letter of resignation to make it official. A spokesman for the office said the letter was delivered sometime before 11 a.m. Wednesday and the resignation was considered effective immediately.
The school board on Tuesday night appointed Tim Erwin, Newark's assistant superintendent of human resources, as interim superintendent while the remaining four board members search for Marken's replacement, Thomas said. The board likely will seek applications from the public and appoint a successor to fill Stadler's board term through 2016, she said.
Marken announced his resignation in late May amid public accusations that Stadler's and other board members' micromanagement chased him away.
At meetings since, dozens of speakers have criticized board members and urged them to keep Marken, honored this year as East Bay superintendent of the year.
Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.