Dublin Unified superintendent unexpectedly resigns from district

DUBLIN — The superintendent of the Dublin Unified School District unexpectedly resigned on Tuesday, parting with words that suggested tension between himself and the board of trustees.

Dave Marken, who was asked to come out of retirement by the board just a year ago to become the interim superintendent for two years, turned in his letter of resignation at the start of Tuesday night’s school board meeting. He read directly from his letter, which was made public on the district website soon after, but added one line that suggested tension.

“If you find yourself in a situation where your bosses don’t trust you, and you don’t trust your bosses, then you should no longer work for your bosses anymore,” Marken said.

Board members Amy Miller and Megan Rouse seemed visibly upset during the online-only meeting: Miller shook her head “no” and seemed to wipe away a tear, while Rouse’s body language looked uncomfortable.

Board President Dan Cherrier commented “we already knew that information, but it’s still hard to hear,” before moving onto the next agenda item.

Marken’s resignation was effective immediately.

Marken worked for the district for about 15 years and was well-known and well-liked in the community when he was asked to fill the superintendent role temporarily. He served as the former principal and assistant principal of Dublin High School, and later became the senior director of secondary education and student services, then assistant superintendent of educational services and human resources at the district.

His contract, approved last June by the board, was for a two-year term as the district regrouped after several recent months of leadership changes. Last year, then-Superintendent Leslie Boozer abruptly left the district in March following a “mutually agreed” upon separation between her and the board. Longtime board member Dan Cunningham also resigned that March and board member Joe Giannini left the board just months before in October 2018.

Niranjana “Nini” Natarajan had also been appointed after Giannini resigned but was soon booted out after enough signatures were gathered to force an election to fill the vacancy. Gabrielle Blackman won that seat in a special election.

In his comments, Marken spoke about being asked to come back to a more than full-time position and questioned if he really wanted to return.

“But, it was Dublin. I made my concerns crystal clear. I was told, assured, and reassured, that I was wanted and needed, and that what I could bring to the table, was what this district wanted and needed,” he said.

He said the “why” he had accepted the role was for the students.

“Those intentions will not be met now. Those assurances that what I brought to Dublin is no longer desired,” he said.

“I truly hope someone else can somehow, some way, get it done.  But that person will not be me.”

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Author: Angela Ruggiero