HAYWARD -- Paul Frumkin, the school board president who has served as a trustee since 2001, announced that he will not be seeking re-election to his post come November.
Frumkin cited a number of reasons for his departure, including an increasing frustration with the "inappropriate behavior and antics" that he's seen on the board in the past year and a half, and in particular pointed at "name-calling" by trustee Luis Reynoso.
"Quite frankly, I've worked in the public sector all my adult life, and I've never seen the behavior that is occurring behind the dais of the board," he said. "We are not 'cockroaches.' We are not 'outlaws.' It's hard enough to be on the school board, but that kind of inappropriateness is not acceptable to me."
He said that's not the only reason he is leaving, as he is going through other life changes at the moment. Frumkin is retiring from his job at Supervisor Gail Steele's office, as she, too, is not seeking re-election. Also, his father passed away recently, which had a significant impact on him.
He added that he feels he does not have the passion to continue being an effective board member.
"After being there for nine and a half years, I think it's time for some new blood," he said. "I gave it a lot of thought."
Frumkin said he is proud of some of the board's accomplishments during the years he was involved.
"With English Language Learners, we have a strong policy of inclusion but also the expectation that kids learn English," he said. "We got away from this idea that the kids can't do it. And we were very strong on closed campuses. Kids would leave for lunch and 60 percent wouldn't come back. We closed the campuses, it was a hard fight, and it increased academics."
He said partnerships with the city and the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District were key to the creation of building two new elementary schools, and they were successful in passing Measure I, the $205 million bond voters approved in 2008 to refurbish Hayward's aging schools.
Frumkin said the incoming board will have to look at ways to keep staff from turning over as fast as it does now.
"People need to want to be in Hayward, regardless of the challenges," he said. "We want them to stay for the long haul. And we need to roll up our sleeves and do what's needed in the short term, but keep thinking of the long term. "... And people need to focus on why they are on the board -- it's not for themselves, it's not for their own ego, but for the academic outcomes for kids."
The deadline to file for November's election is Friday. So far, incumbent Sheila Sims and challengers Sabrina Becerra and Gabriel Jimenez each have filed papers to run for a four-year seat, while Lisa Brunner has taken out papers.
Annette Hoffman-Walker has taken out papers for a run against appointed Trustee Jesus Armas, who is seeking the two-year seat.