Group says Fresno Unified School Board is leaving them out of discussion during search for new superintendent

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Michael Hanson's tenure as superintendent has been a rocky one, and now the process of replacing him is also making waves.

"This is why we're here, because we are hoping that it will be more transparent than others," said Venancio Gaona, community activist.

On Tuesday a group of community activists gathered at the steps of the Fresno Unified School Board. They are demanding the search for a new leader to be open to the public and say the hiring process has been uncertain.

"With a position of this profile, the public is asking for information, and it's really up to the board leadership to provide that to the public on our behalf," said Oliver Baines, Fresno Councilmember.

School Board President Brooke Ashjian said the fears are unfounded. The board hasn't even started its search yet and when it happens he said it will be the most inclusive process the Valley's ever seen.

"We will ask a lot of questions, we will be asking the community to participate in a lot of different functions and the community is gonna help pick the next superintendent."

Advocates said they are not so sure. The board's scheduled two special meetings this month and other rumors were floating around.

"The news that was coming out in some of the public media was concerning to us in terms of closed sessions, in terms of the interims they were talking about," said Blong Xiongs, community advocate.

Ashjian said the sessions were about personnel matters not related to finding a new superintendent. And his goal is still to unify the district in a search for Hanson's replacement.

Ashjian said he would like to hold public meetings at every high school. But there is still no set time or date as to when the search for a superintendent will start.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.