New school superintendent hired
It’s official: Micheline Miglis became the superintendent of schools for both the county and the district, beginning Oct. 11.
Miglis was hired by Plumas Unified School District to fill the superintendent position vacated last year when Glenn Harris resigned amidst a public uproar over his job performance.
In her address to the board and audience, Miglis thanked the community for the warm welcome she has received.
She said she understands what a privilege it is to be entrusted with the huge responsibility of running the school district.
In the public input portion of the board meeting, Quincy High School student Miriam Denisse Marquez welcomed Miglis to Plumas County on behalf of QHS.
Marquez gave her welcoming speech in Spanish, knowing that Miglis is trilingual.
Miglis’ first language is Greek. She learned English when she entered kindergarten in New York, and is also fluent in Spanish.
Miglis said her main focus is to get out to the communities, meet the staff and families, and to feel like she belongs to the entire PUSD community.
In addition to the assigned duties for both superintendent positions, Miglis also holds the title of secretary to each governing board, a non-voting position.
Another important and time-bound focus for Miglis is to receive recommendations from the austerity committee and take appropriate action to keep the district solvent.
Additionally, she aims to provide support and encouragement to all PUSD departments, teachers and parents for “efficacious and servant leadership.”
A welcoming barbecue reception was held for Miglis after the board meeting.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14. A special meeting is scheduled for Nov. 1.
Other public input
Kevin Trutna, interim superintendent/president of Feather River College, introduced himself to the governing board. He expressed his interest in being of service to PUSD and passed out his business cards.
Ron Logan, longtime PUSD teacher and president of Plumas County Teachers Association, addressed the board with a number of concerns.
The main thrust of Logan’s comments elucidated his hope that the board would continue the collaborative process begun by the 7-11 committees.
The public committees were formed last year to provide input and make recommendations during the district’s school consolidation process.
Logan acknowledged the large challenge of the budget and the necessity of cutting costs wherever possible.
However, Logan stressed the importance of not overburdening teachers at the expense of cost-cutting measures.
He said he has heard complaints from teachers about large class size and extra duties imposed on them.
Logan is concerned about teachers losing the ability to teach the students in a fresh and effective way.
Logan encouraged the board to keep the focus on student learning, and to give teachers and students the proper tools to do so.
Plumas Charter renewal
A public hearing was held to hear comment on the request for renewal of Plumas Charter School’s charter.
Supporters for the charter school came out in force to emphasize the importance of school choice for county students and families.
Student Owen Tuttle, a Portola resident, told the board how important it is for him and his mother to have the option of Plumas Charter School.
Tuttle, a senior concurrently enrolled at FRC, has been able to earn college credits for two years, in addition to his high school credits.
Academic director Janet Wolcott spoke about the important role PCS has played in the lives of the hundreds of students it has served.
PCS community advisory board member Judy Gimple urged the board to read the Oct. 10 article in Feather Publishing’s newspapers on the traditional/charter public schools collaboration at Greenville High School.
A parent new to the county told the board that Plumas Charter School was instrumental in her decision to move here with her school-age children.
Teacher Cindy Thackeray gave an impassioned address to the board stressing the importance for families to have an alternative to the regular schools, which for many reasons sometimes are not a good fit.
In closing, Thackeray said she has one child at Quincy El and one at PCS and they are both thriving.
No one spoke out against the renewal request.
Business Director Yvonne Bales reported that the 2011-12 deficit was not as bad as projected.
The district’s deficit was $2,883,411. Bales will be working with Miglis, the board and the austerity committee to reduce the deficit.