DUSD administrators honored by school board

DOWNEY - The Downey Unified School District board Tuesday heard superintendent Dr. Wendy Doty honor Roger Brossmer, assistant superintendent of certificated human resources, and Kenneth Kato, director of classified human resources, with redesigned Vision Awards in the area of personnel.Introducing Kato, Doty traced his career at the Los Angeles Unified School District where he started as an administrative aide and progressed to personnel analyst, senior human resources specialist and labor relations representative prior to joining DUSD two years ago. Holder of a BA in sociology from Cal State Los Angeles and a master's in public education from Cal State Long Beach, Kato displayed passion, as well as compassion, in tackling the many challenges that confronted him at DUSD, said Doty. He had to hit the ground running because he arrived at a time when school categorical allocations were cut and eventually all instructional assistant positions as well. At nobody's urging, he then sought to help the affected personnel by offering classes to provide resume writing, job interview, and job hunting skills in general. Through it all, she said, Kato was "organized, sensitive to employee needs" and worked well with the various employee groups, as he opened lines of communication and otherwise "managed the entre bumping process, well within Education Code, merit system, and contract guidelines." "He has a wonderful sense of humor," Doty said, "and therefore a delight to get to know." Kato is married with two kids. Brossmer just finished his single term as mayor of Downey last year and, re-elected to the City Council for four more years, continues to double as Councilmember in addition to his basic role as asst. superintendent-certificated human resources. Brossmer obtained his BA in aquatic biology and master's in education from UC-Santa Barbara and taught science at Downey High in the mid-'90s. In 2002 he became vice-principal of Downey Adult School, becoming, in rapid succession, principal, then director, then senior director of certificated personnel, then again won promotion to his current position. "Roger was responsible for lifting Downey Adult School to an entirely new level," Doty said. "The classes were enormously successful. The school, programs, and documents took on a professional appearance. I believe he parlayed this into a City Council seat. Before the fiscal crisis, Downey Adult School was the fastest-growing adult school in California. Tutored by Stan Hanstad, he is the chief negotiator for the district and works well with our union leaders. He is respected for being fair and consistent in his decisions. Roger is to be commended for his work in the area of personnel as well as his commitment to DUSD and the community of Downey." Wife Esther teaches at Rio Hondo. They have two children. In emphasizing the twin commitments of personnel ("Every employee clearly understands his/her role and responsibilities and consistently demonstrates the initiative, efficiency, and skills necessary to support the delivery of a quality education to each and every student" and "Hiring practices are strategically designed to attract, support, and retain the best candidates for all positions"), Doty said the personnel function (from initial hiring to handling grievances, disciplinary cases, Skelly hearings, negotiations, etc.) often involves matters of a confidential nature. "I know I can count on Ken and Roger to use sound judgment in handling often complex personnel issues and keep me in the loop," Doty said. Meanwhile, a special DUSD board closed session meeting has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Jan. 19 to select the candidates for the Interview Process for the new Superintendent position.

********** Published: January 17, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 40