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MVLA’s Hope receives Negotiator of the Year award


Photo By: Courtesy of Barry Groves
Photo Courtesy Of Barry Groves

Steve Hope, Mountain View Los Altos Union High School associate superintendent, right, celebrates his Negotiator of the Year award with Superintendent Barry Groves.

Steve Hope, associate superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District, received the 2013-2014 Association of California School Administrators Negotiator of the Year award at a symposium in San Diego Jan. 23.

The award recognizes negotiators who have consistently applied effective practices in reaching agreements and shared those principles to build capacity in the educational system.

Hope has served in the district for more than 35 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and associate superintendent of personnel and technology.

During Hope’s tenure, according to district officials, there have been no unfair labor practices, less than five grievances and strong collegial relationships at MVLA.

Susan Sweeley, a member of the MVLA Board of Trustees since 2000 and the board’s observer on the negotiating team for the past 12 years, said she watched Hope single-handedly run the interest-based bargaining process through the change of superintendents and union leaders.

“No matter how much the personalities change, Steve is the constant who has always kept the process truthful, respectful, trusting and solutions oriented,” she said. “Even though our district has gone through ups and downs in finances over the years, our relations with our teachers, classified staff and administrators have always been kept on an even keel with everyone working toward the good of the district.”

As part of the nominating process, administrators, certificated employees, classified employees, peers and trustees submitted testimonials attesting to Hope’s abilities, dedication and trustworthiness.

“I work closely with Steve in his role as the chief negotiator with both bargaining units,” said Superintendent Barry Groves. “Steve is a clear-thinking and valuable leader, as he is trusted and respected by both the teachers’ organization and the classified union. He is knowledgeable about the science and art of interest-based bargaining. He is considered the dean of human relations professionals in Santa Clara County.”

“(Steve’s) leadership, fairness, evenness, cooperation and management of the negotiation process in our district has created an exceptional relationship between labor and management, which has created a partnership between teachers and administrators that is unique and should be examined as a model for other school districts,” said Todd Wangness, chief negotiator for the district’s teacher association.

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