Andrew Withers: Grass Valley School District welcomes new site leaders
As the end of the 2020-2021 school year gets closer our Grass Valley School District Staff and Students are working harder than ever to finish the year strong! At the same time our team is also preparing for a robust summer school program and we are planning for a fantastic 2021-2022 school year. With these big transitions taking place, having a clear focus and committed high-quality staffing are essential! The work of a strong student-centered staff team is critical to the success of a school site. We have been fortunate to have excellent leaders across our district and next school year we are beyond excited to introduce two new principals at our Grass Valley Charter School and Margaret G. Scotten school sites.
Please join us in welcoming Lucas (Luke) Duchene as the new principal for Grass Valley Charter School. Luke comes to us as an experienced school leader from Marin County. He and his family are already in the process of moving to Grass Valley and we are so happy to have him on board. In his previous position, he successfully supported and led Ross Valley Charter School with developing and expanding its mission and vision. His background includes teaching at the middle school and high school levels with an emphasis on social studies and helping students to see the interconnectedness of the world around them.
“In all of my experience, I have found that we must look at children holistically,” said Duchene. “The first step in doing this is getting to know them, their strengths, and areas of growth. This is necessary in supporting students socially and emotionally. If we are going to educate the mind we also have to warm the heart and inspire the soul. We then as a community support students to grow as learners.”
We are also extremely excited to have hired a new leader for Margaret Scotten Elementary! Susan (Susie) Patterson comes to us with rich experiences as a teacher with service in the Pleasant Ridge School District. She is a former Grass Valley District parent as well and she has taught most grade levels K-8 including an emphasis and love for the foundational school years. As our next TK to 4th grade principal for Margaret G. Scotten, we know we have landed someone who will be an excellent addition to our team.
“As we move forward into this new school year, I look forward to our students, families, and staff reconnecting in ways that we have missed for the past year,” said Susan (Susie) Patterson. “Joining the Scotten community and helping our dedicated staff nurture and educate our students is both my priority and my privilege.”
While the 2020-2021 school year might be one you want to forget, I challenge everyone to consider the positives of what we have learned. Human connection, trusting relationships and high quality instruction are essential to learning! We have also learned about the collective power of our district and community TEAM and how important it is that we all work together. On behalf of the Grass Valley School District leadership team and our School Board Trustees, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our students, staff, families and community for their commitment and unwavering support this school year. We look forward to finishing the school year better than ever and to living up to our theme.
Andrew Withers is the Grass Valley School District Superintendent.
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