School board appoints new Truckee High principal |

School board appoints new Truckee High principal

by Margaret Moran
Margaret Moran / Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — John Carlson won’t have to travel far for his new position as principal of Truckee High School.

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District board of trustees appointed the longtime Reno high school principal to the Truckee post in a 4-0 vote Wednesday evening. Board member Gaylan Larson was absent.

“I am extremely excited to be in Truckee,” Carlson told the board after his appointment. “… I’m anxious to get started.”

Carlson had been principal of McQueen High School in northwest Reno, part of the Washoe County School District, since 2000. Under Carlson’s leadership, the high school, boasting a 2,000-student enrollment, was named by Newsweek magazine as the 740th best school in the nation in 2010.

During his tenure, Carlson initiated WCSD’s first Global Studies Signature Program at McQueen, geared at increasing student engagement with a real world focus involving collaboration of world languages, social studies, science and math. In addition, he established a Response to Intervention program at the high school, which involved restructuring school scheduling blocks to accommodate needed intervention time for students.

Carlson began his career in education as a high school science teacher in the Douglas County School District in Minden, Nev., where he worked for 16 years, according to TTUSD. He started his administrative career there as an assistant high school principal in 1993.

The California native holds a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a bachelor’s degree in biological science from Utah State University.

“I am looking forward to working with John Carlson to continue the positive momentum that has been building with staff and students at (Truckee High),” TTUSD Superintendent Rob Leri said in a statement. “Strong leadership is key to the success of our schools and our students.”

When Carlson begins his new role July 1, his first priority will be to initiate a search for a new Truckee High assistant principal — formerly held by Grant Steunberg — with help from Truckee High staff and TTUSD administration.

Carlson was selected out of a search that started in early May. The process involved paper screening, panel interviews and a meet-and-greet with parents, students and community members, among other measures.

Carlson replaces principal Greg Dettinger, who oversaw Truckee High the past school year.