Dunsmuir High School Principal Ray Kellar is poised to move up after accepting, in concept, an offer by the school board to replace the interim superintendent Oct 9.
Kellar reports no contract has been drawn up yet, nor has an amount of salary increase been finalized. He says, initially, he will work the position under the guidance of leadership and Governance Consultant Steve Mitrovich, who works through the county office of education in Yreka.
“We talked Wednesday after the board meeting and briefly Thursday,” Kellar said. “We need to set up a schedule when he’s going to come down.”
Kellar, hired as school principal July 1, will fill the vacancy left open when the Dunsmuir Joint Union High School Board of Trustees fired interim superintendent Emily Houck during a special closed session meeting Sept. 30. Termination of Houck, also hired July 1, was the only item on the agenda.
Trustees Jimmy Palmer and Chris Langston said it “didn’t work out” with Houck and referred questions to board president Jan Garrigus.
“No comment. That was a closed session,” said Garrigus on Monday. “It was all legal. We posted 24-hour notice. The decision was unanimous. We announced what we decided to the public after the closed session.”
She said all board members were present at that Sept. 30 meeting. Under the terms of Houck’s contract, either party – Houck or the board – could terminate with 24-hour notice, according to Garrigus.
Garrigus said she was trying to contact the county office to set up working arrangements between Kellar and Mitrovich and set their salaries.
“The school and the county are working on a memorandum of understanding,” Mitrovich said Tuesday. “We’re trying to work it so that the school doesn’t have to pay any more than it paid Emily. Beyond that MOU, I will be available for Ray and the board for free.”
“He will be my mentor,” said Kellar of his working relationship with Mitrovich. “Basically, I’m the interim superintendent and Steve is my coach.” He said by the end of this school year, June 2014, he hopes to be able to manage the position without assistance.
Kellar said he was “happy” to accept the position when offered by his board. “I’m grateful they think that I’m capable of leading the school,” he said. “I have good rapport with the staff here and the community and the students. And we’re just going to move forward.”