[the_ad_placement id=”banner-right-placement”]

[the_ad_placement id=”banner-left-placement”]

School board appoints new trustee to represent the Almanor Basin

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

After an introduction, a question-and-answer session, and a brief closed session, the Plumas Unified School District Governing Board voted unanimously Nov. 9 to appoint Chelsea Harrison as the new school board representative representing Trustee Area 3, the Lake Almanor Basin.

Board president Traci Holt, the outgoing representative for Trustee Area 3, said that the appointment process was undertaken since no individual filed to run for election to the position when it became available. As a result, the district advertised for the position and Harrison responded.

Holt told the board that Harrison lives and works in the Almanor Basin and is a graduate of Chester High School.

Harrison told the board that she was born in Oroville but came to Chester when she was 6 months old. Harrison spent most of her adult life in Reno affiliated with chambers of commerce and tourism, then worked for a short while in Oregon. She and her family returned to the area to be near her parents. “Mr. Mac is my dad,” she said of her father who is a well-known retired teacher in the area. Harrison and her husband run a landscape company, and she is also an insurance agent. They have three children – one who attends Chester High School.

When asked why she decided to seek the school board appointment, Harrison said, “When I heard there was no interest that concerned me.” She said that she is a doer, an active member in the community, and already involved in the schools.

What experiences, skills or attributes prepared her to be a board member? “I grew up in service,” Harrison said. … “Time and energy is what I’m willing to put in.”

Harrison was asked, “As a board member you will be making decisions for students across the county. What is your vision?” “Collaboration,” she quickly responded. “I come from an environment where collaboration is the key.” She said she wants to ensure that all are heard and discussed the importance of having digital opportunities to participate.

When asked what she saw as the major issues facing the district and public education, Harrison, responded that was a question that doesn’t have an easy answer and said, “I don’t feel there is a specific hurdle.”

She was also asked what changes she would like to see for school offerings. “Ultimately, I want to see the opportunity for more well-rounded electives. She also discussed the importance of quality of educators and said, “I am very pleased with what we have here” at Chester High School.

Harrison was asked if she had any experience with school budgets or budgets in general, and she said she has worked with schools, which included a financial component, but not specifically the budget. She has had experience with large budgets during her career.

As to how the board relates to the superintendent and the administration, Harrison said, “Any board member should be first and foremost a listener. We are the advocates for the parents and the children.” She added that it’s essential to “make sure things are done and not just talked about.” As for the superintendent, “his job is to implement what we talk about.”

When she had a chance to ask a question, Harrison noted that the school district was losing two important people – its chief business officer and Holt, the board’s president — and wanted to know how that would impact the district.

School board member Leslie Edlund assured her that her fellow board members and the administration would guide her through her new role. “When I came on the board, another member stepped up and helped me as a mentor,” Edlund said.

As for the business officer, Superintendent Bill Roderick said that the district was engaged in a statewide and nationwide search for Lisa Cavin’s replacement. He said it had to be someone who was very qualified, but also a good fit for the area.

Cavin, who was attending her last meeting, said three individuals in her office would be leading the department and she would be available during the transition.

The board met in closed session and then returned to comment on her interview — all giving glowing remarks. They then voted unanimously to appoint her.

Harrison will be sworn in during the board’s December meeting.

[the_ad_placement id=”banner-left-placement”]