Scott Cory discusses his reasons for resigning as Chester High School principal. Photo by Samantha P. Hawthorne
After a 14-year stint as principal to both Chester Elementary School and Chester High School, beloved principal Scott Cory has resigned, effective June 30.
With much deliberation, Cory said he accepted a position as the superintendent for Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District — the same district from which Cory graduated high school.
With the move to superintendent, Cory will be overseeing a district with more than 1,100 students, compared to the 195 students he is now in charge of.
“It will be a very different role for me. It’s not that it is better than my job as principal, it is just a different way to influence what happens with the kids,” he said.
Cory grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley — a small rural community in Santa Barbara County — and his parents still live there. He said that was part of his decision to relocate and terminate his employment with the Plumas Unified School District.
“I would not trade the last 14 years of living here for anything! Chester is my kids’ hometown and it will forever be a part of my mine and my wife’s lives,” he said.
During the first eight years of his Chester career, Cory was the principal at Chester Elementary. Six years ago he took the position of principal at Chester High. He said he feels privileged to have had the opportunity to influence the lives of many students starting with their kindergarten year, all the way through their high school graduation.
He admitted to being sorrowful that he will not be able to do the same for other students he’s watched grow up.
However, he said he believes that the change will be good for the school, and that having new leadership with a fresh pair of eyes will be beneficial for the students.
Plumas Unified School District has already collected applications for Cory’s replacement, and will conduct final interviews May 20.
A panel consisting of teachers, support staff, one community member, two parents and the CHS associated student body president, Anne Sylvester, will go through all applications received and choose the top six applicants. Those applicants will then be interviewed by the PUSD board of directors.
Assuming a qualified candidate has been chosen before the end of the school year, the new principal’s contract will be effective July 1.
“The district is committed to vetting a good process for selecting the right candidate,” said Cory. He said if it is unable to find the right person for the job, the district will keep searching until it does.
As a final note, Cory attributed his success to the performance of his staff. “I’ve been so blessed to have worked with the staff that I have. We have an excellent staff and any success the school has had is because of them; their success is my success, which is ultimately the kids’ success.”
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