Lake parents protest personnel changes

Zephyr Cove and Whittell Vice Principal Sean Ryan

Zephyr Cove and Whittell Vice Principal Sean Ryan


Parents concerned over personnel changes at Douglas County’s Lake Tahoe schools asked school board trustees for help on Tuesday.

Superintendent Keith Lewis said that the district has been developing staffing ratios for several positions.

“Through that process, it was determined that the Lake schools should be staffed with one principal, one part-time vice principal and a full-tine dean of students-athletic director for the projected 300 student enrollment,” he said.

Whittell High and Zephyr Cove Elementary schools currently share a principal and a vice principal, both of whom took the jobs in the summer of 2019.

Lewis said that Vice Principal Sean Ryan was offered a position that split between Zephyr Cove and Scarselli, or a position that was split between Piñon Hills and Douglas Nevada Online. He opted for the latter.

Other changes include reducing a vice principalship at Carson Valley Middle School, a dean of students and Douglas High School and a part-time vice principal at the online school.

The district’s Title 1 elementary schools will go from a part-time to full-time vice principal.

Parent of triplets Meagan Kelly said she was concerned that her kindergarteners would not enjoy the same experience as they did this last year.

In 2019, parents began work to increase enrollment at the Lake schools which has been declining for years.

Many of those students have been going to South Lake Tahoe schools, where they have better access to electives.

Zephyr Cove parent and 2002 Whittell graduate Ben Johnson said he felt the parents have been helping to increase enrollment at the Lake schools.

“When I went to Whittell we had four principals in four years, and it wasn’t good for the students, the staff or the community,” he said.

Zephyr Cove had an enrollment of 148 students in September 2019, which has grown to 186 as of April 2021. Whittell High saw a decrease from 144 students in 2019 to 120 last month. That’s an increase from the beginning of the year last fall. The coronavirus outbreak could have affected enrollment at both schools.


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