School board makes changes in school adminstrations |

School board makes changes in school adminstrations

by Merrie Leininger, staff writer

The Douglas County School Board approved last-minute school administrative changes at the Tuesday night meeting.

Just days before school starts at Gardnerville Elementary School, Principal Dick Brownfield was appointed interim principal at Whittell High School. Scarselli Elementary Vice Principal Cissy Tucker will replace him at GES for the next year.

“I have a very supportive staff and I made this decision with a lot of mixed emotions,” Brownfield said. “I know the school is in good hands. I have been up at Whittell with Howard Bennett and met a parent who graduated from the school when I was a principal. Now I will have her son as a student.”

Brownfield was principal at Whittell for 16 years before transferring to GES in 1991. Brownfield said he is happy to be going back to WHS, but said he agreed to fill the position for one year only, as he intends to retire next year.

WHS Principal Howard Bennett was in the position for one year before retiring. He came to the job from Carson Valley Middle School. His retirement was announced at the July board meeting. Because he decided to leave so late in the year, the district could not find enough suitable candidates to conduct interviews. Superintendent Pendery Clark said she is confident the district will find someone next year who will fill the position long-term.

Tucker said she is very excited about the possibilities of being interim principal at GES. Clark said Tucker will be an outstanding leader for the staff.

Tucker said she has been a little overwhelmed with the task of coming into a school which is converting to single track from multi-track, but that she has faith in the staff. She also thanked Scarselli Principal Betsy Palmer for being a positive mentor.

Kirk Cunningham, who had been co-principal with Brownfield at GES, will now hold that position at Scarselli. Clark said GES is no longer in need of a second administrator because it is single track.

However, Brownfield said the school won’t have a whole lot of flexibility if every student who enrolled shows up on the first day. He said enrollment is up from last year and the school is still working on getting an even number of students in each classroom.

n Vice principal appointments. Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School’s new vice principal is David Wittemore Jr. Clark said he lives in the area, but has been dean and assistant principal at Incline Middle School for the past two years. After Principal Charlie Condron took over the helm at Douglas High School, Vice Principal Robbin Pedrett was named principal, leaving an administrative spot open.

Clark said Wittemore was in the pool of applicants for the principal position at PWLMS and also the same position at CVMS. After Pedrett and interim Principal Rita Elliot were appointed, the selection committee went back to the top ranked candidates to fill the vice-principal positions.

Janey Gray was chosen as the vice principal at CVMS, replacing John Carlson, who took an administration position in Sparks. Gray was a principal at Groesbeck Middle School in Texas in 1998-99 before retiring in 1999. Last year, she was a counselor at Tomball High School, also in Texas.

“She has a lot of experience in standards-based systems and will be able to share a lot with us. She will complement the team at CVMS,” Clark said.

n Athletic policy. The board members took a second look at the athletic and extracurricular activities policy complied by personnel director John Soderman and decided more changes were needed.

Board member Michele Lewis said she was still not clear on the guidelines for expelling a student from participating in an activity if they are caught drinking, using drugs or smoking. The rules are different if the student was on campus at the time of the incident, if the incident took place during the season and if the student elected to undergo counseling.

Board member George Echan agreed the policy is not clear and needed to list the student’s rights to a hearing in the event he or she is suspended from a team or from participating in sports for an entire year.