Andrew Withers: Mid-year staff transitions at the Grass Valley School District
The Grass Valley School District staff are the difference makers and the “secret-sauce” to our district’s success. Physical tools, structures and curricular materials are essential and extremely valuable, however, nothing rivals the impact of a committed staff member on the learning environment for our students. On Tuesday, Dec. 15, the Grass Valley School Board honored Frank Bennallack for his dedication and 26 years of service as a school board trustee. A commemorative plaque along with a Board Resolution in his honor will be hung in the district boardroom in perpetuity. The Lyman Gilmore Theatre program developed a collaborative video performance of the song “So Long, Farewell” honoring Frank’s service as well. Frank Bennallack’s family has a long history of service to education in the Grass Valley Region which dates back to the 1940’s when his grandmother was a teacher. A documented family history of service also includes Frank’s grandfather who was a school board trustee from 1937-1949 as well as his uncle who also served as a trustee from 1957-1975.
“It has been a pleasure to serve alongside Frank for the past two decades. Throughout this time he has continued to display a laser-like focus on our students and their needs. It is bittersweet to see this transition but I understand that he has many other commitments with his time,” said District Trustee Tom Petitt.
This week the oath of office was provided to returning trustee Tom Petitt and new trustee as Debbie Lindh. The school board remains united and dedicated to providing the best services for the greater Grass Valley Community. Tom will start his 20th year of service as new board member Debbie Lindh begins her tenure and board service.
Additional staff transitions are also happening around the district. In November, Karen Diebold announced her retirement after 36 years of service to the district. Karen has been an outstanding employee and servant to our students. She has held numerous positions however her most recent work as secretary at Margaret G. Scotten Elementary will be sorely missed. Her last day of work on campus will be Dec. 18. The start of December also brought us the announcement of a mid-year transition for Scott Maddock the principal at Grass Valley Charter School. Scott has served as principal there since the 2016/2017 school year and his leadership, dedication, and magnetic personality will be sorely missed. He is transitioning into a lead role within his family’s business in the Nevada City area and he will be with us through the end of January.
With the inevitable changes from these staffing transitions, it is critical to remember and appreciate the importance and impact of great staff. We are so fortunate to live in a community with such selfless and supportive educators and we look forward to the new opportunities ahead and the continued growth for our school district and community.
Andrew Withers is superintendent of the Grass Valley School District.
The Grass Valley School District staff are the difference makers and the “secret-sauce” to our district’s success.
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