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Our Opinion: Layaye meeting the task

May 03, 2001

The Imperial Unified School District board voted to extend the contract of Superintendent Barbara Layaye by four years and give her a raise. The board took the action despite a letter from the Imperial Teachers' Association asking that the board not extend her contract.

We think the board did the right thing.

Barbara Layaye is a tough administrator who can and has gotten the job done. Sometimes when an administrator is tough, feathers can get ruffled. We wonder if that is what has led some association members to question her leadership and interpersonal skills.

Still, we think the board has taken an action that will create continuity and allow the focus to remain on meeting the needs of the students.

It is not easy to find a good schools superintendent because it is a demanding position that requires a great number of skills. The person in that position must be a leader who can unite a large number of teachers, staffers and administrators, a leader who will fight for the resources the district needs, and a leader who can keep the community — namely parents — involved.


Layaye has those skills. She proved that as a school principal in Brawley and she continues to prove her skills as a leader in Imperial. For that reason, the school board deserves credit for giving her the go-ahead to lead the district for the next four years. And frankly, some Imperial teachers with whom we have talked have had mostly good things to say about Layaye.

We are not saying the letter submitted by the ITA should be ignored. If some teachers have concerns it is up to the superintendent and the board to make sure those concerns are addressed. We would say there must be a way for those teachers and the superintendent to work out whatever differences they might have to make sure there is teamwork within the district.

We think Layaye has the best interest of all students in the district in mind and will work hard for the students. Likewise, the teachers are working hard for the students.

The Imperial district seems to be moving in a positive direction and Barbara Layaye, from all appearances, is a big part of that.

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