Nevada Union Principal Kelly Rhoden, Assistant Principal Tim Reid have interim tags removed |

Nevada Union Principal Kelly Rhoden, Assistant Principal Tim Reid have interim tags removed

Stephen Roberson
Staff Writer
Nevada Union High School Principal Kelly Rhoden sits at her desk Monday at Nevada Union. Rhoden, a Bear River graduate, was recently named the official principal of Nevada Union where she has been working for the past 16 years.
Elias Funez/ |


Kelly Rhoden, February 2017-present*

Dan Frisella, July 2014-October 2016

Mike Blake, 2011-2014

Marty Mathiesen, 2004-2011

Mary Green, 2004 (March-June)

Tom Barry, December 2003-March 2004

Margaret Christensen, 2002-2004

Marilyn Keeble, 1999-2002

*Named interim principal in October, 2016

Interim leadership at Nevada Union High School just became more permanent.

Principal Kelly Rhoden and Assistant Principal Tim Reid both had their interim tags removed recently at the Nevada Joint Union High School District Board of Trustee.

Rhoden, a former Nevada Union assistant principal, was promoted on Oct. 24, when former principal Dan Frisella accepted the director of educational and pupil services position with the district office.


“Kelly is a longtime teacher and administrator at Nevada Union, she has deep roots and deep ties, so we know her commitment to the students and to the community is true …”Dr. Louise JohnsonHigh school district superintendent, on new NU Principal Kelly Rhoden

Rhoden becomes the eighth principal at Nevada Union in 18 years, with the removal of her interim status during a February meeting. Current Silver Springs Principal Mike Mathiesen, who was Nevada Union’s principal from 2004-2011, is the only principal to serve longer than three academic years in that span.

Rhoden said the high turnover of principals is a problem she plans to remedy.

“I’ve been in the district a long time,” she said. “This is my 19th year at Nevada Union. One of the areas I see as a concern is turnover. I’ve heard it a lot … I have no plans of leaving. My goal is to make Nevada Union the best choice for our community.”

Rhoden said her strong ties to the community — she was raised at Lake of the Pines and graduated from Bear River High School — are an asset.

“I think it’s extremely important in our small community when you’re growing from within, and you are advancing people that you have here in our small community,” she said. “I think if you can grow from the inside and train people who are already here, the buy-in to the community is incredible.”

Rhoden said she and her staff just completed discussion goals for the next six years. Among them: improve communications with stakeholders, the community and beyond; improve classroom instruction; work toward becoming a Professional Learning Community, which focuses on continuous improvement in staff and student performance; look at what the staff’s mission and vision is for its students; and continuing to improve the culture among the school’s community.


A week after Rhoden was hired as interim principal, Reid, a former agriculture teacher at Bear River High School, filled the vacancy left by Rhoden’s promotion.

Reid was a highly regarded agriculture teacher at Bear River who coached the school’s Ag Mechanics team to a national championship last year.

“It’s been a great transition,” Reid said. “It was bittersweet leaving Bear River, but the staff here has been amazing. It’s been an easy transition. I was able to pick up right where Kelly left off.”

Reid has picked up Rhoden’s role overseeing maintenance and facilities, which is crucial with the season’s heavy rain and snow.

He’s also been involved in discipline, particularly with Nevada Union’s new Opportunity School. The program offers students who would normally be suspended a chance to face discipline on campus.

Students stay in one quiet spot to do their work and also help with campus beautification and perform community service, among other things.

“It’s become a really good way to serve their time, keep academics at the forefront and not have a suspension go on their record,” Reid said.


Dr. Louise Johnson, Nevada Joint Union High School District superintendent, said removing an interim title without opening the job internally or publicly is quite common.

“That’s very often the process,” she said. “When something opens up you’ll put in an interim; and if the interim is doing the job well, you make it permanent.”

There are exceptions. Sometimes an interim is put in place, such as a retired educator, who doesn’t intend on fulfilling the position on a permanent basis, she said. Positions opening during the school year don’t require an interim title, but it’s still the rule more than the exception.

“It all depends on the situation,” Johnson said. “The idea is out of consideration for both parties to try on the role.”

Johnson said she had little doubt the roles of Rhoden and Reid would eventually become permanent.

“I was very confident that these administrators would do an excellent job,” she said. “Kelly is a longtime teacher and administrator at Nevada Union, she has deep roots and deep ties, so we know her commitment to the students and to the community is true … She listens to all sides of the situation, all sides of the story. She has the courage to make the best decisions on behalf of the kids.”

To contact Staff Writer Stephen Roberson, email or call 530-477-4236.

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