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Officials mum on paid leave decision

Jeff Tooker replacing Placer High Principal Bill Roderick through end of school year
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer High School officials remained tight-lipped Tuesday regarding why the principal was placed on paid leave Monday. Less than two weeks after notifying Placer High staff of his intention to resign, Bill Roderick no longer holds the position of Placer High principal. The Placer Union High School District placed Roderick on paid administrative leave Monday. Jeff Tooker, Del Oro High School assistant principal, is serving as interim principal through the end of the school year. Roderick, when contacted Tuesday morning, said he would not comment about being placed on leave. Placer High is a great place with great kids and a great staff and I'm going to miss working with them, Roderick said. Roderick announced his intention to resign from the position in March, telling O'Brien early in the month and notifying Placer High staff after they returned from spring break on March 31. The Journal reported April 1 that Roderick planned to finish out the school year at Placer High, and that he was leaving the position for personal reasons. I need to be closer to home and closer to my kids. That's the reason I stated in my resignation, Roderick said Tuesday. His family lives in Yuba County. Prior to becoming Placer High principal in summer 2007, Roderick worked as assistant principal and athletic director. Bart O'Brien, district superintendent, said Roderick would remain on paid leave through the duration of the school year. We feel that in the best interest of the school, we need to place Mr. Roderick on administrative leave and bring in an interim principal, O'Brien said Tuesday. We feel, with what we need to do between now and the end of the school year, we had to make some changes. O'Brien told the Journal Monday that Tooker was not interested in permanently filling the Placer High principal position. Gary Pantaleoni, Placer High assistant principal, shared a similar sentiment Tuesday. When I came here, I told them I'd like to retire from this position, and I'd like to stay true to that, he said. I think I can do a lot for the school in the position I'm currently in. Pantaleoni said he could not comment on the circumstances behind Roderick being placed on leave because it is a personnel issue other than to say that being a high school principal is a taxing position. It's a tough job and it takes you away from your family a lot, he said. The Journal's Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com, or comment online at auburnjournal.com.