Natomas District Faces More Change

Another member of Natomas Unified’s senior management team has announced their departure.

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Howard Kornblum will leave the financially troubled school district for a job as principal at Anna Kyle Elementary School in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District in Fairfield. Kornblum, a highly visibly presence in the Natomas district for several years, marks the fourth member of the Natomas executive cabinet to leave in the past six months.

“Howard will be missed,” said Bruce Roberts, school board president. “He has made contributions at school sites and at the district office that have greatly benefited our Natomas kids.”

Today’s announcement was delivered via an electronic message from Superintendent Bobbie Plough broadcast to school district employees late Wednesday morning. The message recapped several recent changes at the district office.

Plough two weeks ago accepted the superintendent post at the Santa Clara Unified School District effective July 1. The Natomas district’s Director of Human Resources Ken Whittemore resigned in December to take a job elsewhere and his temporary replacement David Pope’s last day is June 10. Chief Financial Officer John Christ will retire next month when new hire Douglas Crancer will assume the post.

“The district is acquiring some very talented individuals to fill administrative vacancies,” Plough said. “We are employing people who can lead the district through challenging financial times as we focus on the most important aspect of our organization: providing a great education for all students.”

Today’s announcement saddened, but did not surprise the Natomas community still reeling from Plough’s decision to leave after a brief, 10-month tenure.

“Like Bobbie, Howard was a person at the district office that I feel truly had a passion and connection to our Natomas kids,” Heron School PTSA president Molly Ibietatorremendia said.

Natomas Unified School District finances have been on shaky ground for more than three years and the impact of Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget released last week remains to be seen. Conservative estimates show the district cash will dry up as early as March 2012 which could lead to bankruptcy and a state takeover.

While school district officials have juggled numbers and negotiated with unions to layoff employees and increase class sizes, parent groups and community organizations have raised money to offset cuts to library services and school supplies. But what lies ahead for the Natomas Unified School District remains unclear in light of recent changes in leadership.

“Natomas is a great place to live and raise a family, but our school district has faced more than its fair share of challenges,” Councilwoman Angelique Ashby said. “It is difficult to gain traction amidst constant change. The students need stability and a plan that allows them the opportunity to succeed.”


  1. Anonymous says

    Unfortunately after fifteen years of tradition, motivation and preparing students to take their place in today’s increasingly competitive job market, the JROTC unit at Natomas High School will also be gone. Budgetary constraints deemed it to be too expensive to support. The decision has been made, now the students have to deal with the loss of yet another program designed for them.

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