Compton to step down from high school board
At least two people have expressed interest in exploring a run to replace Nevada Joint Union High School board president Charlie Compton, whose seat expires in November.
Mark Heauser and Vicki Downs are exploring their options before deciding to run for Compton’s seat, which encompasses the area around Chicago Park and Peardale.
Compton, who has served as a member of the high school district board for the last eight years, said Thursday that he would not seek another four-year term, but didn’t elaborate publicly his reasons for not seeking a third term.
“I’d be happy to give you the answer when I’m not on the board,” he said.
Compton, a partner in a Grass Valley law firm, first earned a seat on the high school board in 1996 after serving for eight years as a member of the Chicago Park School District’s board of trustees. His four children all graduated from Nevada Union High School, including his youngest, who graduated two weeks ago.
Compton grew up in the Bay Area. He has been a partner at the Shine, Compton and Nelder law firm since 1988.
Compton’s tenure on the high school board was marked most recently by myriad transitions to Nevada Union High School’s management structure.
In the last three years, the high school has had six different principals that have sometimes clashed with longtime high school administrators. While the district experienced growth during the first three years of Compton’s tenure on the board, declining enrollment has had an adverse effect on district finances, leading to layoffs in the last two school years.
The Concerned Group for the Welfare of the Nevada Joint Union High School District that has been meeting for the past several months to discuss discord largely between Nevada Union and the district office and to recruit candidates for the school board played no role in his decision to step down in November, Compton said.
Compton said he has not asked anyone to run for his seat, either.
“I’ve made no attempt to seek anyone out. That’s up to the people to decide, not me.”
Heauser, 43, said he would decide within the next few days whether to run for Compton’s seat. The co-owner of Plaza Tire with his brother Mike, Mark Heauser has lived in Grass Valley since 1978. He has three children, including one who will be a sophomore next year at Nevada Union.
Heauser said his idea to run was “pretty self-induced. My feeling is to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said.
Heauser and Downs were introduced at a meeting of the group of parents, teachers and community members Thursday, though Heauser said he’s not affiliated with the group.
Compton joins Penn Valley-area trustee Diane Correll in deciding not to run for re-election to the high school board.
Correll said she decided about two years ago that her current term would be her last.
Correll said she no longer feels called to the position, and has made attempts, with little success, to recruit someone to take her spot on the board.
“I would really encourage people with a good heart and strong thinking skills to serve in this position,” she said. “You don’t do it for the money.”
Trustees earn a $240 monthly stipend for attending one regularly scheduled board meeting and other special meetings as needed.
Correll, 44, a recruiter for a Nevada City-based healthcare services company, has five children, two of whom will be attending Nevada Union next year. Her oldest graduated two weeks ago. She also has a seventh- and a fifth-grader.
Correll said she didn’t think that this past year was harder than past years, and that she is leaving the district in good shape.
“I am grateful to have (Superintendent) Maggie Deetz leading our district,” she said. “Maggie has a gift for listening to people and coming up with practical solutions. She’s got a great depth of knowledge of the district.”
Deetz has been with the high school district for more than 15 years, including stints as assistant principal at Bear River High School, principal at Bear River and a district administrator.
“I’m leaving (the district) in the best hands I know, with Maggie in charge,” Correll said.
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