Sunol Glen Superintendent to Retire After Contentious Year

Sunol Glen School Superintendent and Principal Molleen Barnes has announced her retirement at the end of the school year. Barnes has headed the small Alameda County district for 16 years.

“It has been such a blessing to work at Sunol Glen these past sixteen years and to be an integral part of so many of our students and families’ lives,” Barnes said in a statement. “As many of you know, I often refer to myself as the ‘grandma’ to our children here at school; and as such, I care about each and every one very deeply.”

The district has been mired in controversy since a new generation of trustees took over the school board. The new conservative majority passed a controversial policy restricting flag displays. Barnes publicly criticized the policy, which was clearly viewed as an attack on the LGBTQ Pride Flag. 

Barnes’ departure will deal a blow to progressive parents, who considered her a bulwark against conservative culture war issues. But critics of the board’s majority have another chance to effect change at Sunol, with two of the board’s trustees facing recall efforts.