Administrators talk present, future of Nevada Joint Union High School District |

Administrators talk present, future of Nevada Joint Union High School District

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

The goals are straightforward: prepare students for careers, college and life, and provide care for their overall wellbeing.

Those words came from Nevada Joint Union High School District Superintendent Brett McFadden, who spoke last week at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

The event, called “The State of the District,” held an optimistic tone, with administrators explaining what is happening and what is being planned in the district.

McFadden was excited to keep programs he said many other school districts have been forced to cut.

“We still have a speech and debate team at the Nevada Joint Union High School District,” he said, speaking to an audience of dozens.

Support Local Journalism

And there have been other successes, said McFadden, like raising $200,000 for a new Nevada Union scoreboard, maintaining good financial policies and remaining fiscally solvent.

The district has raised $800,000 annually for scholarships, according to district scholarship and fund coordinator Linda Melugin. Ghidotti alone has raised almost $14 million in scholarship money since its inception decades ago, said Melugin.

But challenges were also discussed.

More resources and funding will “always be a great need,” said McFadden. The superintendent was specifically concerned about a possible recession, multigenerational poverty — 40% of district students are of low socioeconomic status, he said — and the district’s aging facilities.


A new mission statement will be adopted into the Local Control and Accountability Plan by June, said McFadden.

Although the statement was not outlined at the event, there are a number of things the district is focusing on, including restorative justice practices and highlighting its career technical education programming. As a part of this, the district is working with local businesses to help students get internships.

“‘I need people to work for me,’” Jeff Hansen of Hansen Brothers told Tim Reid, Nevada Union’s assistant principal.

Nevada Union principal Kelly Rhoden said career technical education classes blend nicely with the district’s Get Focused, Stay Focused program, meant to clarify why certain classes are relevant for students’ futures.

The program focuses students on college and their future careers.

“They start setting goals for themselves,” said Rhoden.

All staff members have access to students’ 10-year plans created through Get Focused, Stay Focused.

The district is also working to refurbish its schools, with a plan to add solar panels above parking lots at Bear River and Nevada Union, said Jordan Kohler, director of district facilities and construction. The project is set to begin in late summer.

The district will also be adding agricultural mechanic shops at both schools, set to begin during the summer, said Kohler. Nevada Union is currently undergoing a large construction project with 2016 Measure B bond money.

Agricultural mechanics focuses on repairing and maintaining farming machines.

These projects leave McFadden hopeful, “And that’s because of all of you,” he said, pointing to staff, faculty and administrators. “It’s quite an honor to be in this collective endeavor with you.”

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email or call 530-477-4219.

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Connect with needs and opportunities from

Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User