|San Diego Education Report
Dennis Doyle and CoTA: Collaboration of Teachers and Artists and real estate developer RNLN
|San Diego Education Report
San Diego Foundation
2508 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92106
Email to Heather Back, VP of Media Relations:
June 8, 2013
Dear Ms. Back,
I found some good information on San Diego
Foundation's website about CoTA, including form
990s for 2010 and earlier.
My question is where can I find CoTA's form 990s
for 2011 and 2012?
Thanks so much,
Rapid response from San Diego Foundation:
June 10, 2013
Thanks for contacting us; CoTA has an office in
our building. I just spoke with Julie Kendig, and
she will be sending you the information you're
requesting. Thank you - Danielle
Director of Nonprofit Partnerships
The San Diego Foundation Bldg
2508 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, CA 92106
Address PO Box 122666
San Diego, CA 92112-2666
Fax (619) 270-9877
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Dennis Doyle
Board Chair Ms. Lucille Neeley
Company Affiliation RNLN, Inc.
Year of Incorporation 2008
Fiscal Year 2010 2009
Program Expense $141,502 $107,758
Administration Expense $29,784 $23,628
Fundraising Expense $36,090 $19,012
Payments to Affiliates $0 $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.80 1.72
Program Expense/Total Expenses 68% 72%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue
22% 7% --
Fiscal Year 2010 2009
Foundation and $166,500 $163,650
Government Contributions $0 $95,442
Federal $0 $0
State $0 $0
Local $0 $0
Unspecified $0 $95,442
Individual Contributions $0 $0
[Maura Larkins comment: This seems to be a
charity devoted mainly to enriching the CEO,
rather than going to people who actually work
in classrooms. CEO Dennis Doyle worked in
both school districts in high positions, and
CoTA was somehow involved in both
districts--at Olivewood Elementary in National
and a few schools in CVESD. But it seems that
the work was done by teachers who were
being paid separately by taxpayers.]
Indirect Public Support $0 $0
Earned Revenue $0 $0
Investment Income, Net of Losses $0
Membership Dues $0 $0
Special Events $0 $0
Revenue In-Kind $0 $0
Other $0 $0
By Matt Potter
San Diego Reader
April 6, 2000
It's not easy to take on the likes of San Diego Unified School superintendent
Alan Bersin. Subject of endless rounds of favorable coverage in the
Union-Tribune and the darling of its editorial board, son-in-law of one of the
city's most influential land owners, backed by millions of dollars from San
Diego's political and business establishment, Bersin, an old college friend of
President Bill Clinton's, gets his way on almost every issue that comes before
the board of education. But two weeks ago, the juggernaut came to a sudden
halt -- at least for the time being.
The subject of Bersin's disappointment...was an obscure item to
condemn 25 acres of land at Interstate 805 and Highway 52
for $16 million that came before the [San Diego Unified
School District] board... The item failed on a 3-2 affirmative vote
because it did not garner the two-thirds majority vote required for passage.
The item had nothing to do with education, per se, but plenty to do with the school district's
growing real estate empire, which many believe the former United States Attorney is
anxious to develop on his way to a career in local politics and beyond. It was brought down
by Bersin's chief nemesis on the board, Frances O'Neill Zimmerman, a La Jolla matron
with an eye for the bottom line, who fears that the proposed condemnation is the first step
in a wildly overpriced scheme -- as yet unknown to the public -- to assemble a
multimillion-dollar "administrative campus" north of Interstate 8.
Zimmerman and fellow board member John deBeck voted against the plan, after she
pulled it from the board's so-called "consent agenda," where it would have been approved
without public scrutiny and board discussion.
Zimmerman points to a series of internal school-district memos, including one
by Bersin himself, touting the idea and showing it was hatched by what
Zimmerman says is a secretive real estate advisory committee run by
Stanley E. Foster, a wealthy local developer who is Bersin's
father-in-law. According to another school-district memo, the site
Bersin now wants to purchase has turned out to be more expensive
than the one originally recommended by district staff.
Though the plan has yet to be disclosed to the public, school-district memos
show that Bersin and his developer father-in-law want to build a new
"administrative campus" on Cardinal Lane off Highway 163 near Genessee.
To do so, they would sell off the old administrative complex on Normal Street
in University Heights to real estate developers. The district would also have to
move the warehouses currently on the Cardinal Lane site; Bersin wants to
acquire the 805/52 site by condemnation and move them
Development of the proposed administrative complex and its steep price tag, which
Zimmerman argues would suck money away from new-school construction, should be
carefully considered in public hearings before Bersin and his father-in-law's real estate
committee proceed further with their expansion plans, she says.
Zimmerman says she is also concerned about the secretive nature of the proposal and
that untoward influence by lobbyists and others may have been brought to bear in an
attempt to sway the board and its staff in the condemnation matter. Zimmerman has been
a critic of Bersin's real estate advisory committee ever since she first learned about it in
October 1999. Her re-election bid has been opposed by Bersin, Foster, and their
supporters in local real estate and business, who claim she is obstructing Bersin's
Foster, along with his associates in San Diego real estate and
individuals with a direct financial interest in the 805/52 land
deal, have given more than $5000 to the campaign of
Zimmerman's opponent, lawyer Julie Dubick. And a
last-minute hit piece against Zimmerman, sent out the
weekend before the March primary by an independent
political committee calling itself "Citizens for School Reform,"
was financed in part by a $1000 contribution by Stephen
Williams, president of Sentre Partners, the company that has
had extensive real estate dealings regarding the office park in
which the 805/52 property lies.
In addition, Dubick's law firm, Seltzer, Caplan, represents the
owners of the 805/52 property in dealings with the school
district. James Dawe, a partner in Seltzer, Caplan, said in an
interview last week he'd had a personal conversation with a
school-board member -- whom he declined to identify --
regarding his clients' pending business before the board. The
school district itself has no laws requiring lobbyists to register
or disclose their nonpublic contacts with board members, but
Jennifer Hardy Seelicke, another Seltzer, Caplan lawyer, is
registered by the City of San Diego as a lobbyist for the entity
that currently owns the 805/52 property.
In a September 1, 1999, memo to the board of education, chief district
administrative officer Henry Hurley warned board members that Dawe
had been contacting district staff about the pending acquisition and
might attempt to reach boardmembers to lobby them individually.
"Mr. Dawe communicated with Georgia Snodgrass from Business Services earlier this
week," according to the memo. "Ms. Snodgrass informed Mr. Dawe that any decision by the
district to consider imminent domain actions would require board approval. Given Mr.
Dawe's previous letter to me and the nature of his phone conversation with Ms.
Snodgrass, it would not surprise staff if Mr. Dawe contacts boardmembers directly.
"Please understand that Mr. Dawe is representing his client's interests and may
characterize the situation in the light most favorable to his client. Such a characterization
might not necessarily represent the issues important to the district in this matter."
Partners and employees of the Seltzer, Caplan firm have given more
than $3725 to Dubick's campaign to oust Zimmerman from the board,
according to campaign-disclosure records on file with the county Registrar of
The confluence of political money and lobbying clout has led Zimmerman to
consider proposing new regulations requiring full disclosure of lobbying
activities at the district. "Under the circumstances now coming to light, I think it
would be very useful to have a lobbying regulation such as those that exist at
the county and the city," Zimmerman said in an interview this week. "I am
concerned when I learn that the superintendent's developer father-in-law and
politically active law firms like Seltzer, Caplan are mixing in real estate
transactions involving the school district. We need a lot more light in these
Another element of intrigue involves the unknown
identity of the individuals who have an ownership in
the property. Until a year ago, according to county records, Copley
Newspapers, publisher of the Union-Tribune, which has used
its editorial pages to attack Zimmerman, owned the 805/52
On March 16, 1999, the newspaper company transferred the
property to West RNLN, a so-called "limited liability company."
According to county records, a company called Western Devcon is the
"managing member" of West RNLN. Michael Ibe is listed as
president of Western Devcon.
Also recorded on March 16, 1999, was a $13 million trust deed
against the property in favor of another limited-liability
company called "RNLN 805/52." According to that firm's articles of
organization, Ronald Neeley, a wealthy Del Mar real estate
investor, is listed as the company's "agent for service."
In July 1998, Copley sold a 22.74 -acre parcel adjacent to the 805/52 site to the City of San
Diego for $16 million. The land will be used for water-utility operations. And Sentre
Partners, whose president Stephen Williams contributed $1000 to a hit piece against
Zimmerman, has maintained a keen interest in the area. In a letter on Sentre letterhead
dated May 14, 1999, to Larry Gardner of the city water department, executive J. Cole Francis
attempted to get the city to purchase yet another parcel.
"As you are aware, we own a five-acre land parcel across the street from your site and Mike
Ibe is the 25-acre property owner adjacent to your site," Francis wrote. "Mr. Ibe is pursuing
a rezoning of his land to residential. Because our property is zoned for an office park
development, we have concerns that this rezoning may adversely impact the value of our
Dawe, attorney for West RNLN, refused to identify the principals in the venture, though he
said Copley retained no interest. Neeley and his wife Lucille, widely known in Del Mar and
La Jolla social circles for hosting lavish parties on their sprawling 14-acre estate, have
given a total of $1000 to Zimmerman's opponent Dubick, according to
campaign-disclosure statements. A telephone call placed to Neeley at his RNLN offices in
Mission Valley was referred to Dawe, who said he knew nothing of Neeley's campaign
contributions to Dubick.
"It doesn't seem clear who the true owners of this land are," Zimmerman says. "We need
full disclosure to the board and to the public of property ownership when the school district
is involved in land transactions."
The road to the land controversy began about two years ago, when the school district was
looking for a place to build its so-called Food Services Center, a huge central kitchen to
prepare and distribute food to the district's cafeterias. Under the plan, 22 "cluster" kitchens
at individual schools are to be closed. So-called "cook/chill" meals would be prepared and
shipped from the Food Services Center at 40 degrees for later reheating. Eight acres was
required to house the 100,000-square-foot building and support facilities, according to
In a memo to the school board dated December 1, 1998, school-district staffer Pat Zoller
outlined three potential sites for the food-service center, including the then-Copley
Newspapers-owned parcel in the northwest corner of Kearny Mesa, overlooking the I-805
and Highway 52 freeway interchange. The other two candidates were a location at the old
General Dynamics Kearny Mesa site (in an office park now called San Diego Spectrum),
and a site, called the Shawline/McGrath property, that consisted of 8.3 acres on Shawline
Street at Ruffner Road. San Diego Spectrum had agreed to a negotiated sale, but both the
Shawline owners and the Copley Newspapers, which then owned the Copley Drive
property, refused to sell and would have to be taken by condemnation action. In Copley's
case, according to the scenario then in place, only 8 acres of the 25-acre Copley parcel
would be condemned.
Zoller and other staffers recommended that the Shawline site be chosen over Copley and
Spectrum properties, based in large part on the cost of acquisition, according to her
memo. "The estimate of 'worst-case' condemnation cost relative to the Shawline property
is estimated at $800,000. The cost differential of the three sites, considering the estimated
condemnation cost, still supports the Shawline/McGrath property as the most economical
and best choice for the Food Services Center."
Things seemed so sure for the Shawline site that a memo was drafted on September 23,
1998, for consideration at an October 1998 school-board meeting to prepare the
necessary environmental documents to purchase the Shawline site. But no action was
taken then. Later, in a memo dated May 27, 1999, the staff would report that "extraordinary
condemnation cost" of the Shawline site had gone up to $1.2 million and that the site had
received city permits for another building.
In the meanwhile, Copley Newspapers transferred its 25-acre parcel, on March 16, 1999,
to West RNLN for $12,994,000. And when, on July 2, 1999, school-district staffers wrote a
letter to the new owners of the Copley property about the school district's idea to purchase
an eight-acre portion of it for the district's Food Services Center, they got a chilly reception.
In a letter dated July 28, 1999, from Seltzer, Caplan's James Dawe to the school-district
chief administrative officer Henry E. Hurley, Dawe recalled that he, Hurley, and Michael Ibe,
the West RNLN principal, met "two or three months ago to discuss the school district's
possible interest in the acquisition of approximately eight to nine acres of the property on
Copley Place [sic] for development as a food distribution center." After that meeting, Dawe
wrote, "Mr. Ibe requested his architect [to] analyze the potential impacts of the food
distribution center on the balance of the property. Based upon such analysis, the owner
has concluded that the District's proposed building would be incompatible with the
development of the balance of the property."
Though the West RNLN group professed no interest in selling their land, as the spring of
1999 progressed, the district seemed to become more committed to purchasing the entire
20 acres of the West RNLN property rather than just the 8 acres said to be needed for the
Food Services Center. Why a shift from 8 acres to the full 20 acres? Zimmerman points to
internal school-district memos to support her assertion that Bersin's real estate
development committee, run by his father-in-law, may have been responsible for the
Though there was not a public announcement of the
formation of the real estate advisory panel, Bersin set up his
so-called Real Estate Asset Work Group sometime last year.
Zimmerman says she first learned of the existence of the
committee in October 1999. Bersin had appointed Foster,
along with developer Dene Oliver, retired attorney Lewis
Silverberg, and William Jones, an ex-city councilman. The
revelation sparked instant controversy among Bersin's critics
because of the financial relationship that the superintendent
enjoys with his father-in-law.
Bersin and Foster are partners in a general partnership called
Otay Terminal, Ltd., which was formed shortly before Bersin
became U.S. Attorney in 1993. According to Bersin's most
recent financial-disclosure statement, the partnership owns
four industrial properties scattered throughout the county, including one along
the Mexican border near the Otay Mesa border crossing. Each of the properties, according
to county records, is valued in excess of $2 million. Bersin also reports receiving in excess
of $10,000 per year in income from the partnership.
Bersin's real estate work group made its first report to the district in November of 1999.
One of the work group's key recommendations, according to a district memo, is that the
district sell off to a developer the existing education center on Normal Street in University
Heights. Using cash from that sale and the selling of other property, the district would build
a new "administrative campus," most likely on a site the district owns on Cardinal Lane.
"The highest priority recommended by the [real estate]
group...is to consolidate administrative functions currently
housed in several locations around the district into one modern administrative
headquarters campus," says a memo dated November 9, 1999, from school-district
operations manager Henry Hurley to Bersin. "The group calculated that [by] selling the
Education Center and the Mission Beach [school] sites, sufficient resources would be
raised to fund the cost of the development of a new administrative headquarters and the
relocation of needed warehouse space for supply and instructional materials distribution."
In order to carry out the plan, according to the November 9 memo, Bersin's real estate
advisory committee concluded that warehouses adjacent to the school district's so-called
Instructional Media Center on Cardinal Lane would have to be moved to another location,
making way for the new "administrative campus."
Zimmerman says that may be why the district staff, including
Bersin, is pushing so hard to buy the entire 25-acre West
RNLN site and not just the 8-acre portion originally sought by
the staff to build the Food Services Center. "The district should
continue to pursue its land acquisition for the Food Services Center," the real estate
committee's November memo says, "and will need to obtain suitable property for
relocating the Instructional Materials and Supply Warehouse operations when the
consolidation of district administration onto the Cardinal Lane property becomes a reality."
In a memo to the school board dated March 22, 2000, Bersin
agreed with his father-in-law, listing "consolidation of
administrative function into one administrative center (a new
facility to be designed and constructed to complement and
facilitate administrative and organizational structure)" as one
of his primary objectives.
It's a conclusion with which Zimmerman vehemently disagrees.
"My list of priorities does not include a grand campus for an administrative center. We
know it would cost a fortune," she says. "First, it's extra acres and extra money -- fantastic
amounts of money to build it. That money is needed for acquiring land in neighborhoods
where new schools are needed to alleviate overcrowding, such as mid-city and Scripps
As for selling off the education-center site, Zimmerman says, "I don't think we need to
move the ed center. It has nothing to do with teaching and learning in the classroom. I think
we should hang on to all real assets. They can be kept and leased if not used for schools."
On September 28, 1999, six months after Copley sold the
land to West RNLN for less than $13 million, the school
district's appraisers concluded that the parcel was worth $16
million. What accounted for the price differential? According to the
appraisers, during the first transaction -- which occurred after the school district had
already expressed interest in buying eight acres of the site -- "Copley Press...had become
an anxious seller. As a representative explained to us, they are not developers and strongly
desired to be free of development concerns. When Michael Ibe's group approached Copley
Press with a noncontingent all-cash offer, a short escrow, and a large nonrefundable
earnest money check, Copley Press found themselves no longer willing to hold out for a
So, at least according to the appraiser, West RNLN and its unidentified principals had
gotten themselves a deal. The school district was out of luck and would have to fork over at
least another $3 million -- and the threat of much more, to be awarded by a jury at a
condemnation trial -- above what the property had sold for just six months earlier.
When the matter came before the school board at its March 14 meeting, West RNLN was
no longer opposed to the condemnation of its land. "We speak now in favor of your
proposed resolution and most importantly proceed to obtain possession...as early as
possible, so that we can mitigate the damage caused by the uncertainty surrounding the
land use," testified David Dorne, an attorney from Seltzer, Caplan, representing RNLN on
behalf of the motion to condemn.
Dorne even held out the prospect of a negotiated sale, perhaps at a premium, of a portion
of the property in the event that the board's vote to condemn failed. "We would consider
negotiations for a limited acquisition of the school site property as opposed to the
considerable damage that would occur by delaying for perhaps another year while all of
this went forward," Dorne testified. "I urge you to consider that in addition, when you take a
portion of a property, you must take into account...the effect on the surrounding property.
Those things would have to be considered, but the owner of the property would be willing
to discuss the proposition."
But in an interview earlier this week, after a reporter began looking into the identity of
RNLN's owners, RNLN attorney James Dawe said that his client's position had again
changed. "Since Dorne was at the meeting, I believe there has been a meeting of the
architects for the school district and the owners of the property, and we have determined
that the 8 acres that was talked about also does not work with other pending projects
[RNLN has planned for] the 21 acres. So on April 11, we want this burden lifted from the
He said he had contacted the school district last week to set up a meeting between RNLN
principal Michael Ibe and several school-board members to explain RNLN's latest
position, but that the board members declined. Zimmerman says she declined a meeting
with Dawe and Ibe because "I thought it was an inappropriate contact with a boardmember
by a party that had business pending before the board. I think the board's business should
be done in public."
During the March 14 hearing, board member John deBeck questioned district
administrative officer Henry Hurley about how the school district would come up with the
$16 million to buy the entire acreage.
Mr. deBeck: So where is the cash coming from that uh, you're talking about.... The capital
fund is, is awash with cash and it can do that?
Mr. Hurley: What we have been doing for a number of years is planning the capital program
for the district from sources such as our developer fees where you accumulate it over a
number of years. We have accumulated capital funds for district purposes.
Mr. deBeck: But we had in the past, I mean, over a number of years, we've had continuing
problems with deferred maintenance...we had to do all that. There's still a lot of unfunded
projects in the district that this money could be used for. Isn't that correct?
Mr. Hurley: As our long-range facilities plan indicates there's probably another billion
dollars of needs that are still required by the district. However, as we looked at the priority
of those capital needs, I would place the increased efficiency in the operations as a high
priority to streamline and the cost savings in our district operations.
Mr. deBeck: As compared to, let's say, a new school?
Mr. Hurley: Yes, as compared to a new school.
Proponents of the plan, including Bersin and board member Sue Braun, a key Bersin ally,
touted its merits on the basis of improved efficiency. Said Braun: "I would feel that we were
missing the boat if we were limited to the eight acres because this was an opportunity for
us to see the kinds of savings we saw when we did our energy-efficient changes, all the
other streamlining and changes that we've made in the district. We have seen the wisdom
of that and this was a chance for us to consolidate operations and not have people running
all over the city and having to use all our closed school sites."
In an interview this week, deBeck said he will change his vote from opposition to one in
favor of the purchase of the site at next week's school-board meeting. He says he has "cut
a deal" that requires Bersin to sign off on the reopening of an elementary school in North
Clairemont in exchange for his vote in favor of purchasing the West RNLN property.
deBeck says that he has long favored reopening Wiggin Elementary School at 4350 Mt.
Everest Street, a former elementary school closed for lack of enrollment about eight years
ago. It is currently used as a home-schooling academy run by the district.
Parents in the area want the school reopened for safety reasons, says deBeck, because
students currently have to cross busy Balboa Avenue to attend Homes Elementary school.
"They say they are losing kids who won't cross Balboa to private schools," says deBeck.
But until now, district administrators had strongly opposed his overtures to reopen the
"Getting something in the current environment is very difficult for me and this is one case
that I could use as leverage. I just said I would not vote for [the 25-acre Copley Drive
property acquisition] unless I could get a school north of Balboa," says deBeck. "They
agreed. Actually, it may have been something they might have done anyway, but that
doesn't matter. I got it. I can't get into their heads about whether they had already decided
they would do this anyway. I just wanted to make sure I had a commitment to get it.
"That doesn't mean I fully support the expenditure of all the money that it would take to
completely build out the 20 acres at this time," deBeck adds. "I can see the need for
combining district resources for economy. Whether [the Cardinal Lane site] became the
education center, where people came and went a lot, I have a problem with it because it's
on a dead-end street."
That leaves Zimmerman, who says she supports reopening the Wiggin school but
remains opposed to the 20-acre land purchase and Bersin's plan to build a new
Zimmerman says she resents the fact that the Wiggin school reopening is being held
hostage to gain approval of the Kearny Mesa site acquisition. "I appreciate deBeck's effort
to help people in Clairemont, but I don't think this kind of horse-trading should go on," she
says of deBeck's deal. "If there's money in the capital fund for land banking 12 additional
acres on Kearny Mesa," Zimmerman says, "there's money in the capital fund to reopen
Wiggin to serve the people of Clairemont."
Neither Bersin nor his lieutenant, Henry Hurley, responded to phone calls placed to their
School district delays land sale after challenge
By Helen Gao
SDUT STAFF WRITER
November 10, 2004
The San Diego Unified School District has temporarily halted its plan to sell a
24.7-acre parcel in Kearny Mesa to Home Depot because the prior owner is
challenging the district's sale.
The school board was scheduled yesterday to authorize the district staff to
enter escrow to sell the land for $30 million, but the item was pulled off the
agenda. If the sale were completed, the district would reap $11.2 million more
than what it paid the prior owner for the land.
When the district used its power of eminent domain to acquire
the parcel in 2001, it paid a negotiated settlement of $18.8
million to San Diego-based West RNLN LLC.
The district had planned to build a central food-processing facility at the site
and consolidate other operations there, but the project was scrapped. The
district now has no use for the land, which is on Copley Drive south of state
Route 52 and east of Interstate 805 in a business/light industrial park.
In a letter sent to the district late last week, an attorney representing West
RNLN claimed that under the law the company has the right to match Home
Depot's offer price to buy the parcel back.
Bob Kiesling, facilities chief for the district, said that while the letter
stresses the prior owner's first right of refusal, it doesn't
explicitly say West RNLN wants to buy back the land.
David Dorne, an attorney with law firm Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek who has
represented West RNLN on the property, was not available for comment
because he was traveling.
"What they said was along the line of, 'Under the Education Code, we have
first right of refusal, and you have not given us that right.' We have to
determine whether that's right," said Kiesling, who has rescheduled the vote
on the sale for Dec. 14.
Kiesling said his initial analysis is that West RNLN doesn't have the right to
buy the land back.
School district sells 24.7 acres to Home Depot for $30 million
By Helen Gao
SDUT STAFF WRITER
November 9, 2004
Three years after using eminent domain to take possession of a 24.7-acre
parcel in Kearny Mesa, the San Diego Unified School District is selling the
vacant land to Home Depot for $11.2 million more than it paid.
The school board was scheduled today to authorize the district to begin
escrow on the $30 million sale. District officials said the site is unsuitable for a
school and there is no other school district use for it.
The district bought the parcel in 2001 to build a central food processing and
distribution facility with plans to also consolidate other operations. A year later,
the project was scrapped. Instead of a central food center, the district decided
to improve existing facilities.
The parcel on Copley Drive is south of state Route 52 and east of Interstate
805 in a business/light industrial park.
The money from the sale will go into a capital improvement account. District
facilities chief Bob Kiesling said the money would most likely be spent on
conversion of large high schools into clusters of career-themed academies or
other, smaller projects.
Kiesling said Home Depot was the only bidder for the parcel because district
trustees set the minimum bid at $30 million, $6 million more than staff
"We knew the price was fairly high. We were comfortable we were going to get
some bids," Kiesling said.
The previous owner of the site was San Diego-based West RNLN, LLC. When
the district initiated the eminent domain proceeding against the company, the
court approved a negotiated settlement of $18.8 million for the land.
Under the U.S. Constitution, public entities can condemn private property for
public use as long as they pay the owners the fair market value. Typically,
eminent domain is used to acquire land for freeways, parks, schools,
redevelopment projects and other public purposes.
Herbert Lazerow, professor of law at the University of San Diego, said it's not
unusual for public agencies to not follow through with a project after using
eminent domain to acquire land. Lazerow also said there is nothing wrong with
a public agency making a profit from the sale of land it condemned, as long as
the condemnation was not done to make a profit.
The profit, he said, is "probably the result of the fact the government has
owned the land for two to three years and has been the beneficiary of this
extraordinary run-up in real estate prices."
According to property records, West RNLN paid $13 million for the parcel
when it bought the land in 1999 from The Copley Press Inc., the parent
company of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
David Dorne, a member of the law firm Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek who
was listed as an attorney representing West RNLN, had little to say about the
district's transaction or its condemnation of his client's land.
"We don't have a reaction," he said. "It was a legal matter. We don't have
much to add or take away from it."
The district uses a portion of the site for storage of portable classrooms and
As part of the purchase agreement, it will lease back up to 7 acres from Home
Depot for a maximum of $19,800 a month until Aug. 31, 2005, so it can
continue to use the land for storage.
RNLN REAL ESTATE ADVISORS
925 HOTEL CIR S SAN DIEGO, CA 92108-3420
(305) 534-2700--[but this is not a San Diego area
Updated 3/13/2013 - This profile of Rnln/LLCP2, LLC
was created using data from California Secretary of
State, Company Reports from Dun & Bradstreet
Ronald L. Neeley Member
Lucille A. Neeley Member
Rnln/Pp, Llc in San Diego, California Single Location
Address: 750 B St Ste 1930, San Diego, CA,
RNLN now known as Brio Investment Group
Mr. Jonathan Neeley, President and Chief Executive
Officer, has a broad range of business experience,
including 13 years at Maintenance Warehouse, a
wholly owned subsidiary of The Home Depot
Company, where he served as President until 1999.
Subsequent to the sale Mr. Neeley started Aqua
Investors, a private real estate management and
development company. As President and Chief
Executive Officer of BRIO Investment Group Mr. Neeley
is active in both the real estate market and various
CoTA: Collaboration of Teachers
Isn't this organization supposed to post Form
990s on its website??? Why do we have to
pay GuideStar $125 to see 2011 and 2012
forms when non-profits are required by law
to produce them upon request? I sent this
email to CoTA:
May 25, 2013
When will CoTA be putting its Form 990s for
2011 and 2012 on its website?
I could only find 2010 and earlier on your
website. Is CoTA planning to put the more
recent 990s on the site?
I got no response until I contacted San
Diego Foundation. Around June 10, 2013
CoTA put its 2011-2012 Form 990 on the
Internet. To see it, go to this page, then
click on the link at the bottom that says
"View Financial Details."
GuideStar reports that CoTA has filed its 2012
Form 990. Why wasn't it posted this past week
at the same time you posted the 2011 Form
Also, please be sure to contact me regarding my
request to see the attachments as well as the
2011 and 2012 Form 990s.
A GuideStar Premium Report in
PDF format is available for this
(downloaded May 25, 2013)
Price for this Report: $125.00
This Premium Report includes:
Financial Data for 2011, 2009
Financial Charts for 2011
Forms 990 for 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
Audited Financial Statement for 2010, 2009
2012 Board Members
Officer, Director and/or Highest Paid Employee
data for 2011, 2009
2010 Form 990 [the year Dennis Doyle was
hired as CEO--and the last year the form was
put on the website]
"other" expenses $62,515
total assets beginning of year $131,821
total assets end of year $75,071
[See more information below.]
Updated 3/13/2013 - This profile of Lucille
Neeley was created using data from California
Secretary of State
Cota (Collaborations: Teachers and Artists), Inc.
Lucille & Ronald Neeley Foundation -
Po Box 371347
San Diego, California 92137-1347
EIN (Tax ID): 330386127
Democratic Party of Arizona Contributors
SAN DIEGO, CA 92137
Download May 25, 2013
CoTA BOARD AND STAFF
Board of Directors
Lucille Neeley | president
Hans Schoepflin | treasurer
Sally Yard | secretary
Staff and Artists
Rich Cimino | program assistant
Dennis Doyle | executive director
Leonardo Francisco | artist
April McBride | artist
Ernest McCray | artist
Danielle Michaelis Castillo | artist
Danielle Reo | program director
Natalia Valerdi-Reese | artist
Reneé Weissenburger | lead artist
City of Chula Vista Office of Cultural Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
US Department of Education
Panta Rhea Foundation
San Diego Foundation
The Lucille and Ronald Neeley Foundation
The McCarthy Family Foundation
Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek
Wells Fargo Foundation
Joseph Frescatore| principal | Kit Carson
Manuel Machado | principal | Lincoln Acres
Beverly Hayes | principal | Olivewood School,
Deborah Hernandez | principal | Palmer Way
Christopher Oram | superintendent | NSD
Leticia Hernandez | principal | John A. Otis
San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD)
[See story at left about RNLN!]
Kit Carson Elementary School
National School District (NSD)
John Otis School
Lincoln Acres School
Palmer Way School
2010-09 [Sept. 2010]
CoTA Initiates Full-Scale Program at Palmer
CoTA launches Collaborations program school-
wide at Palmer Way School. This is the first
school in the National School District to commit
to the full-scale program. During the 2010-11
school year, CoTA will work with 18 teachers
and nearly 450 students, grades K-6.
2010-07 [July 2009]
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
CoTA Announces New Executive Director
Noted educator and educational reformer
Dennis Doyle joins CoTA as executive director.
Previously, Doyle has served as the
superintendent of the National School District,
the assistant superintendent of Chula Vista
Elementary School District, principal at two
schools, and a teacher. Doyle is a nationally
recognized authority on charter schools,
systemic reform, and developing strategies that
support linguistically diverse student
CoTA Hosts Exhibition at Chula Vista Library
Chula Vista Library’s South Branch exhibits
Collaborations projects created by K-6 students
at schools in Chula Vista, National City, and
San Diego. Assemblage, theatrical scripts,
photographs, installations, and altered books
are among the works represented.
CoTA Partners with National School District
CoTA initiates a pilot version of Collaborations
in National City, teaming artists with 11 teachers
at John Otis, Kimball, Las Palmas, Rancho de la
Nación, Central, Ira Harbison, Lincoln Acres,
and Olivewood schools. (Teachers from El
Toyon and Palmer Way join CoTA in fall 2009.)
CoTA Becomes Independent Nonprofit
After a successful ten-year tenure under the
aegis of Installation Gallery, CoTA becomes an
independent 501(c)3 organization to focus on
CVESD/CoTA Partnership Receives Third NEA
Grant for Program Expansion
With its third award from the National
Endowment for the Arts, CoTA expands to three
schools, Joseph Casillas Elementary, Fred Rohr
Elementary and Daly Academy, enabling it to
serve 20 percent of the Chula Vista Elementary
CoTA Expands to Two Schools in Chula Vista
Clear View Charter and Salt Creek Elementary
join CoTA in an effort to bring arts integration to
new heights in Chula Vista.
CoTA Adds Twelfth School
CoTA offers artist-led workshops and in-class
coaching to teachers at Perry Elementary in
CoTA and USD Establish Multiple Literacies
Program at Cherokee Point Elementary
CoTA collaborates with Kathleen Collins,
assistant professor at the University of San
Diego (USD), to establish a multiple literacies
context at the new San Diego school Cherokee
Point Elementary in City Heights.
CVESD/CoTA Receive Second NEA Award
CoTA and the Chula Vista
Elementary School District receive
second National Endowment for the
Arts grant for continued program
expansion in Chula Vista.
timeline 10th school
CoTA Reaches “Ten Schools” Milestone
CoTA expands programs to Olympic View
Elementary in Chula Vista (Collaborations) and
Jack Kimbrough Elementary in Sherman Heights
(San Diego City Schools’ Model Arts Program).
CVESD/CoTA Partnership Receives NEA Award
The Chula Vista Elementary School
District receives a $55,000 grant from
the National Endowment for Arts to
expand its partnership with CoTA.
CoTA Adds Eighth School
CoTA begins work at Greg Rogers Elementary,
a unique campus that provides instruction to
the majority of the Chula Vista Elementary
School District’s special needs students, as well
as neighborhood children.
CoTA Hires Kathleen Collins as Director of
Kathleen Collins, associate professor of
education at the University of San Diego,
becomes CoTA’s director of research. (She
conducts a three-year study tracking CoTA’s
impact on student learning and teaching
practice at schools in Chula Vista.)
CoTA Expands to Florence Elementary
In conjunction with the Model Arts Program of
the San Diego Unified School District, CoTA
begins work at Florence Elementary in Hillcrest.
timeline sd model school
CoTA Participates in San Diego’s Model Arts
CoTA joins efforts with the Visual and
Performing Arts Department of the San Diego
Unified School District to provide training in arts
integration to fourth- and fifth-grade teachers at
Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary.
timeline cvesd partner
CoTA Partners with Chula Vista Elmentary
Chula Vista Elementary School District, the
largest elementary school district in California,
becomes the second district to partner with
CoTA. Hilltop Drive Elementary and Myrtle
Finney Elementary are the first two schools
to practice CoTA’s
CoTA Adds Third School
CoTA extends professional development
training to Bayview Terrace Elementary in
CoTA Expands to Sessions Elementary
Allan Richmond, principal of Kate Sessions
Elementary and former vice principal of Walker
Elementary, invites CoTA to work with teachers
at Sessions Elementary in Pacific Beach.
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
Installation Gallery Inaugurates the CoTA
Installation Gallery, originator of the binational
inSite exhibitions, establishes a collaborative
artist/teacher program at Mary Chase Walker
Elementary in San Diego’s Mira Mesa
neighborhood. The program aims to provide
teachers with accessible strategies for
integrating arts into the existing curriculum.
downloaded May 25, 2013
CoTA teaching artists collaborate with
classroom teachers to create customized
curriculum and instruction units aligned with the
Common Core. Unlike traditional artist-in-
residence programs, where the project depends
on the presence of the artist, CoTA builds
capacity among classroom teachers to develop
arts-rich instructional strategies. CoTA commits
to a three-year partnership with schools and
teachers working for ten weeks each year per
In those schools that are selected to receive the
CoTA Beacon Schools professional
development grant, teachers will experience
how arts infused instruction can enhance and
extend student learning in all curricular areas.
During year one and year two,
classroom teachers will co-teach with
the teaching artist and document the
impact the CoTA method has on
students. During weekly collaborative
meetings with the teaching artists,
classroom teachers reflect on their
observations from the in-class
sessions and plan for the following
week. Ten-week project based units
evolve through these meetings,
allowing teachers and artists to
respond to the students’ needs in a
cycle of continuous improvement.
By the third year, through a gradual
release of responsibility, classroom
teachers take the lead on designing
and implementing the unit of
instruction while the teaching artist
provides coaching and support.
Download May 25, 2013
CoTA is a professional development program
that tackles the possibilities of making the arts
a lively, essential, and ongoing aspect of
elementary school education. CoTA is based
on the belief that integrating the visual and
performing arts into other content areas
promotes engagement, accessibility, and
relevance for students. Since its inception in
1998, CoTA has collaborated with 500
teachers and more than 13,500 students at 26
schools throughout San Diego County.
*Collaborations: Teachers and Artists (CoTA)
is pleased to announce an exciting new grant
competition that will award up to $600,000 in
professional development to San Diego County
public elementary schools. All public
elementary schools, including charter schools,
are eligible to apply.
Click here to find out how your school can
The deadline to apply is September 12, 2013.
Semi-finalists will be notified in September, and
CoTA will begin scheduling school site
meetings to present the three-year
collaboration process to faculty and staff. Final
selections will be announced in November
2013, and classes will begin in January 2014.
How To Apply
Step 1: Visit http://cotaprogram.org to become
familiar with prior CoTA collaborations.
Step 2: Secure support from your school’s
principal and at least 80% of your school faculty
Step 3: Download and submit the pdf
application or apply online.
For questions or help at any time, please
Assistant to the Executive Director
Dennis Doyle and Juan Vargas
May 17, 2013
Congressman Juan Vargas stopped by the
CoTA office to say hi the other day. "I just love
the creativity in what you do," he said.
Facebook--Dennis Doyle and Cindy Marten
April 30, 2013
CoTA Executive Director Dennis Doyle with San
Diego Unified School District Superintendent
Designee Cindy Martin [sic] at tonight's "One
Voice" discussion at the Ken Theater in
Kensington. Many thanks to Voice of San
Diego for inviting us to exhibit student work
of CoTA trained teachers in the lobby.
Teachers and Artists
CoTA is a professional
for teachers promoting
aligned with the
Common Core State
"With the Common Core,
students will be required to
understanding, and the
CoTA program has
prepared me to teach in
-Hernan Baeza, Grade
3 Teacher, Lincoln
The San Diego
Shaw views student
work at a CoTA
The San Diego
National City Schools
Funding for Supplies in
When the U.S.
Department of Education
Development for Arts
Educators (PDAE) grant
for The CoTA Project in
National School District
(NSD) was awarded, a
budget for supplies was
not part of the package.
The San Diego
Foundation (TSDF) has
stepped in to fill the
gap. TSDF has
provided a grant for
Teachers and Artists to
support supplies and
developed by NSD
teachers and CoTA
Access to a dedicated
funding source will allow
teachers to be
without worrying about
the limitations of their
supply budgets. “This
is a dream come true,”
Clint Taylor, The CoTA
Project Director for
National School District
said. Felicia Shaw,
Director of Arts &
Culture for TSDF,
opportunity to become a
partner, support the
project, and learn from
the evaluation results.
“With Common Core
observed, “we are
looking for evidence
that teaching language
arts and other subjects
through the arts is a
foundation for critical
Director, Danielle Reo,
will work with classroom
teachers and teaching
artists to make sure
that all materials are
ordered and received
in a timely fashion as
new units and lessons
Copyright © 2013
Teachers and Artists
All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 122666
San Diego, CA 92112-
Teachers and Artists
January 10, 2013
Alvarez paid us a visit
today in our new offices
at The San Diego
Foundation in Liberty
Station. Thanks for
visiting! — at
Teachers and Artists.
Teachers and Artists
January 10, 2013
Alvarez paid us a visit
today in our new
offices at The San
Diego Foundation in
Thanks for visiting! —
Teachers and Artists.]
Assistant to the
Lucille and Ron
$249 to $999 to Voice
of San Diego in 2009.
Olivewood Gardens Board of Governors 2011
downloaded May 25, 2013
Dr. Mary L. Walshok
Dr. Mary L. Walshok, Ph.D. Associate Vice
Chancellor for Public Programs, Dean of
University Extension & Adjunct Professor in the
Department of Sociology at the University of
California, San Diego
Dennis M. Doyle, Ph.D.
Dennis M. Doyle, Ph.D. Former
Superintendent- National School District
Dr. Irma Gigli, M.D. Professor Emerita,
University of California – San Diego and
University of Texas Health Science Center,
Ms. Cheryle HammondMs. Cheryl Hammond
Former Director of Sales for Latin America,
Ms. Cheryle HammondMrs. Eleanor Navarra,
Philanthropist. Served on the Board of the San
Diego Natural History Museum from 2001-2010.
Ms. Jacqueline L. ReynosoMs. Jacqueline L.
Reynoso Chief Executive Officer, National City
Chamber of Commerce
Rick RomneyMr. Richard (Rick) L. Romney
Founder of Mueller College and Real Estate
[owner of RNLN aka Brio]
Dennis Doyle re mediation and collaboration 2001
Mr. Doyle is misrepresenting his own attitude toward problems in schools. Just
a few months before the following was published, he himself acted to cover up
crimes, protect the guilty, and punish a teacher for asking for an investigation.
He worked to prevent any mediation.
"School staff can benefit by staying involved with the issues and not walking
out on a relationship. In Chula Vista, CA, school staff needed new skills to
respond to the regular conflicts that arose as they tried to build relationships
with parents. “Problems arise when a person in power feels they should be
judging,” says Dennis Doyle, assistant superintendent. So the district tried
sending its staff to mediation training at the San Diego Mediation Center. The
training was so helpful that it has become one of the few things the
district absolutely requires of all its leaders. “Mediation is an
indispensible skill,” says Doyle. “It allows people to leave feeling like there
was a win-win arrangement.”
This is G o o g l e's cache of http://www.nhi.
org/online/issues/118/JehlBlankMcCloud.html as retrieved on May 25, 2005 13:
Lessons in Collaboration
Bringing together educators and community builders
By Jeanne Jehl, Martin Blank, and Barbara McCloud
Education has always been important to Americans. In every community,
teachers, principals, superintendents, and school board members work to give
students the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive members of
society. We expect public schools to level the playing field so that all young
people will benefit from – and contribute to – expanding opportunities.
In the current political climate, standards-based reform is creating pressure to
increase student achievement, a pressure felt most intensely by teachers and
administrators. Meanwhile, community builders – community development
corporations, neighborhood-based organizations, faith-based groups,
settlement houses, and others – are starting to include education reform as
part of their agenda to develop the community’s social, physical, economic,
and political infrastructure.
Too often in the past, there has been little interaction between community
builders and educators. Today, however, there is a surge of interest in
partnerships between community-based organizations and schools. Deep
community/school relationships combine “inside” expertise with “outside”
resources and support. They have a dual benefit: expanding services,
supports, and opportunities for young people and strengthening the school as
a universally available public institution for all residents. At their best, these
partnerships turn schools into “community schools,” vital centers of community
life that open the building and its resources to the community for extended
But school/community relationships are not easy to craft and sustain. School
staff can be so immersed in the demands of accountability that they don’t
recognize how community members can help. Community builders often do not
fully understand the education system they are trying to change or the
magnitude of the challenge of improving academic achievement. Such
differences lead to “sticking points” that make it difficult for community-building
organizations and schools to form productive working relationships.
The most basic sticking points arise from differences in organizational size,
structure, and staffing between schools and community organizations.
Community builders may find “working through channels” arduous and
exasperating, while their lack of knowledge about “how things are done” can
frustrate school personnel.
Unequal relationships between professionals and citizens are common in many
institutions and are often complicated by differences in race and class. School
administrators typically look for partners with demonstrable “clout.” Community
leaders, on the other hand, aim to minimize inequalities in power based on
resources, race, and class. Because community-building organizations in low-
income areas do not always bring to the table sizeable resources or
grassroots influence, their members often feel undervalued by school
administrators. “No table should be built where someone has more power
because of their title,” says Nancy Aardema, director of Chicago’s Logan
Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA), a community group that has gotten
heavily involved in school reform.
Even once community builders are at the table, differences in the roles and
expectations of leaders may lead to friction. Leadership in schools is based
primarily on credentials and training; in community building organizations it is
largely based on relationships. This can lead school personnel to misjudge the
abilities of people without advanced degrees and community builders to
underestimate the challenges and responsibilities that school leaders face.
One program that has faced these sticking points is LSNA’s parent mentoring.
The program differs from the traditional school volunteer or internship
program because of its explicit focus on building the capacity of adults rather
than children. After initial training sessions, each parent works closely with a
teacher in the classroom with the primary goal of promoting his or her
personal development. Participants in the program are frequently elected to
Local School Councils (see Don Moore's article in this issue), and many have
continued their education to seek teaching careers. To work successfully in
the program, school staff had to overcome sticking points based on power and
class and embrace the philosophy of building the community’s capacity to
support its children.
Another sticking point can be differing understandings of the goals and scope
of schools. Leaders of education reform usually define the primary goal of
schools as promoting young people’s academic achievement. Community
builders, and some educators, argue that schools should promote learning,
which includes social and personal, as well as academic, development.
Educators sometimes feel that community members do not understand the
complex and difficult work of improving student achievement. Public
accountability for improving student performance is intense, often measured
only by test scores, and shouldered almost exclusively by educators.
Community builders are not subject to similar public scrutiny, which contributes
to tension and a feeling of unbalanced accountability.
Community builders, on the other hand, worry that a “laser-like” focus on
academics ignores opportunities for developing competencies in life situations.
Sometimes community-building groups will create their own charter schools
that include the values of community building along with a rigorous academic
curriculum. In the words of one group, they want to “model the kind of
education they want for their children.”
Control can also be a concern. Educators tend to see school buildings,
classrooms, materials, and resources as belonging to the schools. Community
builders view these buildings as community assets and want a voice in their
use. While there is a growing movement toward building schools that can
serve as centers of community life, tough issues remain, such as negotiating
who holds the keys and controls access to the classroom. In one community,
private donations to create a technology center in an unused middle school
classroom were specifically channeled through a nonprofit organization rather
than the school district to ensure accountability for the funds and offer a
facility that could serve students during the day and adults at night. But the
school district required specific credentials for teaching adults. So far, no
qualified teacher has been located and the center is empty after school hours.
Both educators and community builders use collaboration to move forward, but
community builders also employ conflict as a valuable tool for change, while
educators often see it as a sign of something gone wrong. LSNA stresses the
value of collaboration, but its members have also proven the usefulness of
confrontation when necessary by organizing demonstrations and working with
the media to convince the school system to build a new school in the
neighborhood. Local school administrators, concerned about overcrowding in
neighborhood schools, welcomed support from LSNA, and district officials
gained an appreciation for community builders’ ability to mobilize support.
“LSNA comes united,” said a district official. “We know where the community
The Rules of Engagement
When these sticking points are not satisfactorily addressed, community
builders and citizens often find themselves outside with no influence, while
educators work toward reform by themselves inside the school. To avoid this
situation, education and community building leaders must consistently attend
to forming relationships with each other. The following “rules of engagement”
will help educators and community builders mobilize their shared resources.
Find out…about each other’s strengths and needs. Good information can
clarify differences in perception and concerns, and help to set a common
School staff can begin by finding out where students and their families live,
work, and play. What issues are people talking about? What community assets
can help the school? How can school resources be useful to community
In Chicago, school leaders, teachers, and students from Ames Middle School
worked with LSNA to survey the neighborhood and determine needs and
priorities for a new community center at the school. The superintendent in
Rochester, NY, schedules “brown bag” office hours each week when he is
available to talk with community members without an appointment.
Community builders can find out about the neighborhood schools, their
performance, recent history, and standing in the school district. What
education issues are parents and newspapers talking about? What
opportunities are there to involve families and community members in decision-
In one urban school district, community builders hired a policy analyst to
explain school policies and help recommend changes to make them more
responsive to families and communities. In Philadelphia, the Germantown
Community Collaborative Board (GCCB) developed an Education Committee
and established long-term working relationships with schools in its
neighborhood. As they became better informed about the schools, committee
members raised concerns about the size of, and quality of teaching at, the
community’s middle school.
Reach out…to potential partners on their own turf. School staff can reach out
by identifying interested community groups and informing them about the
needs and circumstances of the schools. The school superintendent in
Plainfield, NJ, shares information about student achievement and the district’s
budget with community members in a user-friendly format, then encourages
people to discuss the information in small groups and ask questions of school
Community builders can join groups at the school and provide concrete help.
They can disseminate information about schools and create opportunities for
school staff to meet informally with community residents. When the Marshall
Heights Community Development Organization in Washington, DC, learned
that the school board was planning to close a nearby elementary school
because of declining enrollment, they worked with school staff and the
community to mobilize support – and kept the school open.
Spell out…the purpose and details of joint efforts. School staff must make it
clear that there are some areas, such as personnel, where they cannot
collaborate with community groups. At the same time, they should work to
eliminate bureaucratic obstacles to partnership in areas where collaboration is
possible. For example, school districts are major employers in most
communities, but there are hiring qualifications that school staff cannot
circumvent. However, school staff can work with community builders to prepare
community members to pass qualifying tests by scheduling preparation and
testing sessions in the neighborhood.
Community builders can work with school decision-making processes to forge
agreement between school and community agendas. Concurrence on
expectations and timelines allows partners to be comfortable in a joint venture
and reduces feelings of imbalanced accountability. One community-building
organization works with its members to develop an annual work plan for
meeting priority needs in the community. The plan is shared with the schools
and includes goals related to educational achievement, such as a community-
based campaign for family literacy.
Work out…the kinks as they arise and change your approach when
necessary. There will be rough spots in any relationship, and being able to
stick it out through them is crucial. Participants must deal with differences in
expectations, such as: How much autonomy does a school principal have?
What kinds of resources can a community-building organization provide?
School staff can benefit by staying involved with the issues and not walking out
on a relationship. In Chula Vista, CA, school staff needed new skills to respond
to the regular conflicts that arose as they tried to build relationships with
parents. “Problems arise when a person in power feels they should be
judging,” says Dennis Doyle, assistant superintendent. So the district tried
sending its staff to mediation training at the San Diego Mediation Center. The
training was so helpful that it has become one of the few things the district
absolutely requires of all its leaders. “Mediation is an indispensible skill,” says
Doyle. “It allows people to leave feeling like there was a win-win arrangement.”
Community builders can help by staying flexible and emphasizing clear,
positive communication. In Chicago, LSNA convenes an ongoing discussion
among school principals who talk about working with the community and ways
to build on positive relationships. Community organizations can give principals
some political cover in working with the district bureaucracy.
Build out…from success by sharing positive results and expanding your
efforts. School staff can use positive achievements to leverage resources from
other sectors while finding ways to increase their capacity for partnering. The
Chula Vista Coordination Council began as an effort to support the school
district in obtaining grant funding from the state for Family Resource Centers.
The Council has grown to involve municipal and county government, as well as
community-based organizations, nonprofit agencies and the faith community.
Community builders can take the lead in demonstrating success – to the
community, to funders, and to decision-makers. In Chicago, the success of
LSNA in mobilizing community support for a new middle school strengthened
the community’s role in selecting a principal who would develop a school
program that reflected community values.
When schools and community organizations begin to help each other, they
develop personal relationships that can overcome differences in
organizational structure, power, race, and class. Successes – even small ones
– are important in overcoming many sticking points, and are especially
valuable in establishing a climate of public ownership and accountability.
Schools and community builders can publicize their success, share the credit,
and move on to greater challenges – as partners.
Jeanne Jehl is a consultant to the Institute for Educational Leadership; Martin
Blank is director of community collaboration; and Barbara McCloud is senior
associate for leadership programs. This article is based on the paper
Education and Community Building: Connecting Two Worlds, prepared with
the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. Copies are available for $7.00;
contact email@example.com or download at www.iel.org.
At CVESD, Dennis Doyle protected and encouraged teachers who were
bullies, and demanded silence from victims.
Kidsnewsroom's Weekly News For Kids
July 11th - July 18th, 2003
An End to the Bully
We have all had to face it at one time or another: a kid making fun of us, or
even worse, physically hurting us. Liz Neely, of the Chula Vista Elementary
School District, in San Diego, CA, wants to put an end to bullying.
"The project isn't a response to a specific problem at the district's schools,"
said assistant superintendent Dennis Doyle, "rather, the goal is to curtail
antisocial or aggressive behavior before it escalates."
What exactly does this mean? "School bullying is probably one of the most
underreported behavioral problems," Doyle said. "It's difficult to keep track
of something that isn't talked about. Essentially, there is a code of
silence that begins pretty young. Children are aware of bullying activity,
but they don't talk. They don't say anything about it."
We have all seen it happen, one kid pushes the other is the hall while many
others just stand by watching it happen... no one does anything to stop it-or
prevent it from happening again Is it simply that we are afraid that we will be
named the school tattle-tale? Or is it that we are afraid that we will be the next
one that the other kids will be watching getting hurt?
Whatever the reason, Chula Vista is ready for a change. The program began
earlier this year with a three-year $325,000 grant from the California
Department of Education and the Office of the Attorney General under the
School Community Policing Partnership Program. In total, three main schools
are currently being studied due to their family resource centers.
Due to the fact that kids don't talk about the bullying, the district can't keep
track of the events that take place. Therefore, the district has conducted a
survey. Chula Vista asked children in third through sixth grades-about 2,100
students total at the three schools-to complete a validated questionnaire
about bullying. The questions on the survey were inquisitive in nature, but
protected individual privacy; questions such as, how many times a week
they've been bullied and where, whether they've told an adult or if they've
tried to stop bullying when they see it, and more.
Chula Vista isn't the only place where bullying takes place. It happens
everywhere. All around the US schools are taking action to cut down on
bullying. However, it can't just be left up to them. Do your part and help out, if
you see someone in trouble, tell the nearest adult: you could be saving
someone's life… or at the very least, their lunch money.
--Written by Tami Saslo
Maura Larkins comment:
Teachers sometimes act like bullies to kids and other teachers! These
teachers have a code of silence. When they model this behavior, they are
teaching kids how the world works, and they cannot fix the problem by paying
money so someone will tell kids not to be bullies. Kids see that adults get to
bully the weak. They see how life really is. Why doesn't Mr. Doyle spend
money in Chula Vista Elementary School District to help teachers learn not to
722 F.2d 554
Dennis DOYLE, Plaintiff-Appellant,
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and William Webster, in his
capacity as Director, Defendants-Appellees.
United States Court of Appeals,
Argued and Submitted Oct. 7, 1983.
Decided Dec. 27, 1983.
Michael Shames, San Diego, Cal., for plaintiff-appellant.
Michael E. Quinton, Asst. U.S. Atty., Michael H. Walsh, U.S. Atty., San Diego,
Cal., for defendants-appellees.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Before FLETCHER and NELSON, Circuit Judges and CORDOVA,* District
NELSON, Circuit Judge:
We must decide whether it was error for the district court to uphold the
government's withholding of documents requested under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552, on the basis of an in camera
affidavit submitted in support of the claimed exemptions without a review of
the requested documents. We affirm.
Appellant Dennis Doyle filed requests for any documents pertaining to him
that were in the possession of the FBI. The FBI withheld many of the
requested documents, claiming exemptions from disclosure based on national
security, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552(b)(1), and protection of personal privacy and
confidential sources, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552(b)(7)(C) & (D).
The district court ordered the FBI to submit public affidavits justifying,
itemizing, and indexing the withheld documents. The court found the
submitted affidavits too vague and conclusory to justify the claimed
Doyle then filed a motion to request in camera inspection of the documents.
The FBI responded by submitting in camera affidavits and moving for
summary judgment based on its public and private affidavits. Without viewing
any of the documents in camera, the district court granted judgment for the
FBI, sustaining its withholding of the documents.
An appellate court ordinarily must answer two questions when reviewing FOIA
cases: (1) whether the district court had a factual basis adequate to make a
decision, and (2) if it did, whether the decision below was clearly erroneous.
Church of Scientology, Etc. v. U.S. Dept of Army, 611 F.2d 738, 742 (9th
Cir.1979). Because of the inadequacy of the record designated on appeal, we
do not get beyond the first question. Apparently appellant Doyle purposely did
not designate the in camera affidavit as part of the record on appeal. He asks
that we decide as a matter of law that the district court does not have an
adequate factual basis to sustain the withholding of documents unless it
examines the documents themselves or otherwise verifies the accuracy of the
in camera affidavit. The question is one of first impression in this circuit.
When an FOIA request is made, a government agency may withhold a
document, or portions of it, if it contains information that falls within one of
nine statutory exemptions to the disclosure requirements. 5 U.S.C. Sec.
The government has the burden of establishing that a given document is
exempt from disclosure. Church of Scientology, 611 F.2d at 742. The
government may not rely upon conclusory and generalized allegations of
exemptions in meeting its burden. Id., quoting Vaughn v. Rosen, 157
U.S.App.D.C. 340, 346, 484 F.2d 820, 826 (D.C.Cir.1973). Rather, the
affidavits or oral testimony must be detailed enough for the district court to
make a de novo assessment of the government's claim of exemption. See
Harvey's Wagon Wheel, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 550 F.2d 1139, 1142 (9th Cir.1976).
In certain FOIA cases--usually when national security exemptions are
claimed--the government's public description of a document and the reasons
for exemption may reveal the very information that the government claims is
exempt from disclosure. This court does not require the government to specify
its objections in such detail as to compromise the secrecy of the information.
Church of Scientology, 611 F.2d at 742. In such a case, the district court has
discretion to proceed in camera. Id. at 743.
This court recently considered objections to the ex parte nature of the in
camera review process in Pollard v. F.B.I., 705 F.2d 1151 (9th Cir.1983). The
district court entered judgment for the government based on a review of
documents and affidavits in camera and the ex parte testimony of an F.B.I.
agent. We affirmed, despite the fact that no transcript was made of the
Although the district court did review the withheld documents in Pollard, that
decision nonetheless provides guidance in the case at hand. The court first
cautioned that "the ex parte, non-adversarial nature of in camera review ...
has prompted courts to proceed with caution in endorsing in camera review of
documents in FOIA cases." 705 F.2d at 1153. The court recognized, however,
that "in camera, ex parte review remains appropriate in certain FOIA cases,
provided the preferred alternative to in camera review--government testimony
and detailed affidavits--has first failed to provide a sufficient basis for
decision." Id. at 1153-54 (emphasis added). Once the government has
submitted as detailed public affidavits and testimony as possible, the district
court may resort to "in camera review of the documents themselves and/or in
camera affidavits," 705 F.2d at 1154 (emphasis added),--a recognition that in
some instances, affidavits alone may suffice.
We recognize the danger inherent in relying on ex parte affidavits. In
Stephenson v. IRS, 629 F.2d 1140 (5th Cir.1980), the court noted that the
district court had been "led astray in its determinations by factual conclusions
founded in an affidavit which described the withheld documents in fairly
detailed but generic terms." Id. at 1145. The Stephenson court concluded that
once the district court has determined that records do exist, it is obliged to
assure itself of the "factual basis and bona fides" of an agency's claim of
exemption, rather than rely solely upon an affidavit. Id. It suggested
alternative procedures such as sanitized indexing, random or representative
sampling in camera with the record sealed for review, oral testimony, or a
combination of these procedures. Id. at 1145-46.
The District of Columbia Circuit has also expressed grave reservations about
in camera affidavits. See Mead Data Central v. United States Department of
the Air Force, 566 F.2d 242, 262 & n. 59 (D.C.Cir.1977). The court stated
that selective in camera inspection could be used to verify an agency's
descriptions and "provide assurances, beyond administrative good faith, to
FOIA plaintiffs that the descriptions are accurate and as complete as
possible." Id. at 262.
The legislative history of the 1974 amendments highlights Congress' concern
that agencies might abuse the withholding provisions and its awareness of
specific allegations that the FBI had in fact abused the withholding process.
Congress hoped the more liberal disclosure mandated by the amendments
would prevent such occurrences. See FBI v. Abramson, 456 U.S. 615, 640 n.
11, 102 S.Ct. 2054, 2062 n. 11, 72 L.Ed.2d 376 (1982) (O'Connor, J.,
dissenting) (citing House Comm. on Government Operations and Senate
Comm. on the Judiciary, Freedom of Information Act and Amendments of
1974 (Pub.L. 93-502), Source Book, 94th Cong. 1st Sess., 348, 440-41, 453
(Joint Comm. Print 1975).)
Although we concede that only in the exceptional case would the district court
be justified in relying solely on in camera affidavits, we are unwilling to hold as
a matter of law that there are no situations in which affidavits alone are
adequate. Review of the documents might not be necessary, for example, if
the affidavits were specific, their contents were not contradicted elsewhere in
the record, and there was no suggestion of bad faith either in that case or in
other cases handled by that agency.
Appellant's failure to provide us with an adequate record on appeal prevents
us from determining whether documents should have been reviewed in this
case. We affirm the judgment of the district court.
Hon. Valdemar A. Cordova, United States District Judge for the District of
Arizona, sitting by designation
The San Diego Foundation Supports
National City Schools CoTA Project
March 12th, 2013
by Danielle Reo
When the U.S. Department of Education
Professional Development for Arts Educators
(PDAE) grant for The CoTA Project in National
School District (NSD) was awarded, a budget for
supplies was not part of the package. The San
Diego Foundation (TSDF) has stepped in to fill
the gap. TSDF has provided a grant for
$13,500 to Collaborations: Teachers and Artists
to support supplies and materials for
collaborative units developed by NSD teachers
and CoTA teaching artists.
Access to a dedicated funding source will allow
teachers to be maximally creative without
worrying about the limitations of their supply
budgets. “This is a dream come true,” Clint
Taylor, The CoTA Project Director for National
School District said. Felicia Shaw, Director of
Arts & Culture for TSDF, welcomed the
opportunity to become a partner, support the
project, and learn from the evaluation results.
“With Common Core State Standards coming,”
Shaw observed, “we are looking for evidence
that teaching language arts and other subjects
through the arts is a foundation for critical
thinking, problem-solving, engagement, and
CoTA Program Director, Danielle Reo, will work
with classroom teachers and teaching artists to
make sure that all materials are ordered and
received in a timely fashion as new units and
lessons are developed.
Downloaded June 10, 2013:
Panta Rhea Foundation
[$102,045 in 2011]
1505 Bridgeway Suite 127
Sausalito, CA 94965
Fax (415) 331-0707
Please note that after ten years of support to
local and national campaigns to protect public
water supplies from privatization, and to promote
sustainable water policies, the foundation
closed its Water Governance Program as of
Please note that the foundation has also closed
its Media Program as of Dec. 2011.
The Panta Rhea Foundation intentionally
maintains a small staff, with limited capacity to
read and process funding requests. Because of
this, PRF is not accepting any unsolicited
proposals or letters of inquiry at this time.
Hans Schoepflin is an entrepreneur and philanthropist.
He is the founder and President of Schoepflin Investment
Company, and recently started a socially responsible
venture fund devoted to helping build a sustainable
future. As a philanthropist, he is the President of the
Panta Rhea Foundation. The name "Panta Rhea"
captures, in Greek, the understanding that 'all things flow,
all things change.' Hans is a student of Vipassana
meditation, an avid mountaineer, a lover of gardens and a
Lisl Schoepflin is the co-founder of the newly established
Santa Fe Museum of Languages. She has participated in
various youth donor-organizing efforts and managed the
family giving through the Sunflower Fund. Lisl has
trained and performed in various improvisational and
acting methods, including Theater of the Oppressed and
Playback Theater, as well as worked as an theater arts
educator. She completed her B.A. in Anthropology and
Theater Arts at the University of Pennsylvania (2003) and
is currently pursuing graduate studies in Andean
languages, ethnohistory, and performative traditions.
Patricia Callahan one of Hans Schoepflin's daughters,
played an active role in co-developing the Panta Rhea
Foundation. Patricia joined as a board member of PRF
as of 2011. She holds a B.S. Nursing from New Mexico
State University and is currently earning her Nurse
Practitioner degree at Northeastern University. She is
active in the movement to make NPs independent
practitioners in MA. Patricia lives and works in the Boston
The Ronald and Lucille Neeley
[$202,045 in 2011]
This organization is connected to the San Diego Foundation, which
tried to remake the San Diego Unified School District board with
appointed members who would undermine the elected
|News, information and ideas about our
by Maura Larkins
Dennis Doyle's history at Chula Vista Elementary
and National School District
2009--Dennis Doyle suddenly clears out as school
superintendent at National School District
Dennis M. Doyle, former Assistant Superintendent at CVESD, had serious
problems as superintendent of National School District. He moved out of
his office without giving a reason or a warning to anyone, or at least,
that's the story offered to the media.
Doyle eventually found a job at a much lower salary administering a small
charity that promotes art in classrooms.
I found out years after the fact that Mr. Doyle had been deeply--but
secretly--involved in my own case at CVESD before he went to National
School District. He and I never met; he was apparently helping a pal with
a personal agenda. It appears that Doyle has a habit of relying on cliques
of teachers and principals to guide his actions rather than taking
responsibility for his own behavior.
It appears from the article below that Mr. Doyle was involved deeply and
secretly in some mysterious goings-on at National School District.
Doyle suddenly clears out as school superintendent
No explanation from him, trustees
By Chris Moran
San Diego Union-Tribune
May 21, 2009
The superintendent of the National School District in National City
abruptly resigned his post, moving out of his office five days before the
school board formally accepted his resignation Wednesday.
Neither Dennis Doyle nor trustees explained Doyle's sudden departure.
He had 13 months left on his contract.
In a prepared statement, the board and Doyle jointly declared: “Dr.
Doyle's decision, although sudden, was his personal decision and not the
result of any dispute between the board and the superintendent or any
suspected wrongdoing on his part.”
Chris Oram, assistant superintendent of educational services, will be the
district's chief executive until the board appoints an interim
superintendent. That could happen as early as next week, board
President James Grier said.
Doyle, 59, of University City, was hired as National's superintendent in
July 2007 after spending 10 years as assistant superintendent in the
neighboring Chula Vista Elementary School District. He has been an
educator for more than 30 years, and was paid $154,000 annually.
“National is a fabulous district with a dynamic staff, motivated students
and supportive parents,” Doyle wrote in an e-mail.
The district educates 5,800 students from kindergarten through sixth
grade at 11 schools. It has a higher percentage of non-English-speaking
students – 65.5 percent – than any other district in the county.
Doyle cited several achievements for the district during his 22-month
tenure, including improvements in the district's state academic rating
based on test scores and and improved language proficiency scores for
its non-English-speaking students. He also mentioned teachers'
widespread use of technology in the classroom.
“Nonetheless, it has become apparent to me that it is time to move on,” he
Grier said he was surprised by Doyle's announcement and did not find
out until the day of the board meeting Wednesday.
“It's sudden to everyone,” Grier said. When asked why Doyle resigned,
Grier said, “I wish I knew.”
When asked if she was pleased with his job performance, trustee Rosie
Alvarado said, “He was all right, no big deal, he was doing OK.”
Trustees Anne Campbell and Barbara Avalos did not return phone calls
Thursday. Trustee Alma Graham deferred to the prepared statement.
What Doyle and his fellow cabinet members did at
I was removed from my classroom temporarily because two
teachers said they thought I would kill them. Then the district
asked me to come back to work without conducting any
investigation. (Sounds like an egregious breach of basic safety
precautions--doesn't it?--unless the district already knew that the
two teachers were lying or deluded.)
Here's a quick summary of what happened. Here's a more detailed
I insisted on an investigation before I came back to work, but the
district wanted to cover-up violations of laws, codes and contract.
I was fired because I refused to come back to work without an
In depositions, Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 could not come up with
any rational reason for their actions, and one of them completely
changed her testimony when I asked if she would agree to
produce her phone records.
Here is my own 6-hour deposition by Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz.
Chula Vista Elementary School District realized that it had made a
big mistake in giving so much power to a clique of power-hungry
teachers at Castle Park Elementary who chewed up and spit out
eleven principals in eleven years as well as forcing out several
excellent teachers. Four years after I left, the school had
deteriorated so much that five problem teachers were transferred
In my case, the top officials at CVESD wanted to protect their
secrets. They never produced any results of any investigation
into the allegations against me. I was told to come back to work
and to remain silent about what had happened. Why would they
want me to come back if there were the slightest chance that the
allegations might be true? The top administrators of CVESD
committed either an egregious lapse in safety for children and
employees, or a series of egregious violations of codes, laws and
contract against me.
You might wonder why CTA didn't demand an investigation,
instead allowing the district to violate the contract again and
again. CTA plays school politics as the expense of children and
the law. It colludes frequently with school administrators.