Berkeley High School principal Sam Pasarow takes indefinite leave of absence

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Berkeley High School principal Sam Pasarow will be taking an indefinite leave of absence beginning Tuesday.

Announced in an email Monday to Berkeley High families, his departure had no cited reason. The school district, however, has recently been shaken by a series of lawsuits ranging from alleged first amendment violations to a possible mishandling of a sexual assault case at Berkeley High.

Executive vice principal Erin Schweng will be taking over the lead administrator role at the school effective immediately until further notice, the email stated.

“We have great confidence in our current team of administrators and anticipate minimal impact on day-to-day operations during this period of time,” stated the email from Pasquale Scuderi, the school district’s assistant superintendent for educational services.

The email acknowledged that the lack of information regarding Pasarow’s leave of absence may worry some parents but added that “we are obliged to respect confidentiality whenever private or personnel matters arise.”

Pasarow was appointed in April 2015 after an extensive hiring process to finding the permanent successor of former principal Scuderi. At the time, Pasarow had previously served as principal of Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland.

Superintendent Donald Evans had said of Pasarow’s appointment last year that he was “absolutely the right man to move (Berkeley High) to the next level.” Pasarow had been a renowned leader in the use of disciplining students through restorative justice strategies in Oakland.

School district spokesperson Charles Burress could not give further comment about the reason for — or duration of — Pasarow’s leave of absence.

Contact Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ayoonhendricks.