Penn Valley school district taps Sacramento principal as next superintendent
The Penn Valley Union Elementary School District is set to appoint Dr. Torie England, the current principal of Sacramento’s Isador Cohen Elementary School, as its next superintendent.
The district’s board of trustees will formally vote to approve England as its choice for superintendent at tonight’s board meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. at Williams Ranch Elementary School.
That vote will cap a two-month-long search process to fill the position; England was one of 18 applicants for the position, and one of four candidates interviewed, said Tina Skrukrud, the board’s president.
England was appointed principal at Isador Cohen in August 2011. Prior to that, she spent several years in the Twin Rivers Unified School District, serving as principal at Hagginwood Elementary in Sacramento, as the district’s director of program improvement and the achievement gap and as principal at F.C. Joyce Elementary School in North Highlands.
England graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a degree in psychology; she later earned a master’s degree in education counseling from Chapman University, an administrative credential in education leadership from California State University, Sacramento and a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne.
Skrukrud said the board was impressed by England’s experience, collaborative and energetic personality and the fact that she was highly recommended by her references.
“We’re excited for her to come, we think she’s going to be a great fit for our district and we’re really looking forward to working with her,” Skrukrud said.
England will take over the superintendent position on July 1; Skrukrud declined to elaborate on the terms of England’s contract until it was approved by the board.
With England’s hire, the board is aiming to bring stability to the superintendent position, which has undergone several months of transition.
Last July, the school’s board of trustees unanimously appointed Angela Haick to the superintendent position with a three-year contract that paid Haick an annual salary of $112,000.
But less than six month later, in January, the board voted unanimously to terminate Haick’s contract without giving a reason for its decision. Under the terms of her contract, Haick was entitled to a buyout of 12 months salary and benefits, or about $120,820.
Teena Corker, principal at Pleasant Valley and Williams Ranch elementary schools, and Susan Clarabut, a retired former assistant superintendent with the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, have been serving as co-acting superintendents for the past five months.
England said she believes she can bring that desired stability to the district, which was formed in 2014 when the Ready Springs and Pleasant Valley school districts consolidated; the district currently consists of Pleasant Valley, Williams Ranch and Ready Springs elementary schools, as well as Vantage Point Charter.
England worked through a similar situation during her time in the Twin Rivers school district, which was formed in 2008 when three smaller elementary school districts merged with the Grant Joint Union High School District.
She said she understands how consolidations can be stressful, especially when they’re paired with fluctuation in leadership, and is looking forward to the challenge of unifying the community.
“That piece of it, to me, is going to be exciting, to pull people together, have them learn from each other and create that cohesiveness,” England said.
England, who grew up in Red Bluff and currently lives in the Roseville area, said that after spending most of her career working in larger school districts, she’s excited to “really be able to connect with people and connect with families” in a more rural setting.
Her goal in her first 100 days on the job, she said, is to listen to and learn from all stakeholders.
“I have an open door policy, I’m very approachable, and I hope everyone will take me up on that and reach out,” England said.
To contact Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.
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