Ray Kellar confirmed Sunday that he has accepted the position as principal at Dunsmuir High School. It was offered to him during a board meeting Tuesday of last week.

Ray Kellar confirmed Sunday that he has accepted the position as principal at Dunsmuir High School. It was offered to him during a board meeting Tuesday of last week.

Kellar will fill part of the position left open with the departure of superintendent/principal Len Foreman.

"We offered [Kellar] a contract for 67% principal, 33% teacher," Jan Garrigus reported after a two-hour closed session July 9. "And he has to keep the positions of athletic director, technology director and vocational director."

Kellar said on Sunday that he officially accepted on Wednesday after talking with Garrigus to settle two questions in his mind. "I wanted to know when I would start. And I wanted come clarification on which classes I would continue to teach," he said.

He started Monday, saying his first task is interviewing teachers to find someone to take over some of the classes he currently teaches. "What classes depend on the qualifications of the teachers who apply," he said.

Kellar said he will also be leaving his position as the Tigers' head football coach, less than a year after leading DHS to its first Northern Section championship last fall. He and his staff coached the North to victory in Saturday evening's Lions All Star 8 Man football game in Oroville. The North roster included four Dunsmuir players. (See page B1 for details.)

Kellar said he has been with Dunsmuir High for over 15 years, beginning as geography and math teacher. Over the years he's taken on more duties, including those of school vice principal. "I teach computers, desktop publishing, accounting, wood shop, PE – the list goes on and on," he said. "I was football coach from 2000 to 2007. Then I came back in 2010. I've also coached basketball for five years."

He has prepared for the principal's position. "I went through my Masters for five or six years, got my credentials, and was waiting for the opportunity to arise," he said. "It didn't have to be, but at some point I figured it might be at Dunsmuir High."

He added he was glad it was this high school. "My wife and I are ingrained in this community," he said. "I've received a lot of kudos from people, stating that they are very happy for us. It's been very humbling."

As principal, Kellar said he doesn't foresee making many immediate changes. "It's not something you just want to dive into," he said. "We'll have new staff. I'll be trying to sit down with everyone and get thoughts and come up with a game plan, just to get everyone on the same page."

County superintendent's directions

Before last week's closed session, Siskiyou County Superintendent of Education Kermith Walters told the board that it had a wide range of options for replacing Foreman. "It's the board's decision," he said. "They can hire someone outright, as long as that person has certain qualifications. It can be somebody on staff or somebody not on staff."

He said, "They can advertise the position and go through that whole process of putting it in the paper and collecting the applications and researching them and going through the screening and doing the interviews and doing all that."

He said the board could form a committee to search for a new administrator or hire a firm to do a search. "They could hire a person to do it on his own," he said. "It doesn't have to be a firm."

Board member Chris Langston asked if the board could be sued if it hired someone outright.

"Not if that person is qualified," answered Walters.

Actions taken

The Dunsmuir Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously 5-0 to:

• Hire Carol's Lock & Key to install new locks on doors of rooms that will be occupied all hours of a school day. The locks will key on both outside the room and inside, as protection against an intruder; Carol's will also install ADA handles and provide maintenance, total cost about $5500;

• Keep Danielle Signor for web maintenance, with no changes in service or terms, for 2013-14.

• Approve updates to 2013-14 student handbook/parent guide, new format with no substantial changes, and waive second reading.

The Dunsmuir High School board was scheduled to convene in a special meeting July 15 to consider hiring a new English teacher to replace Juliette Charter, according to CBO Vardanega. Another special meeting will be held Wednesday Aug. 7 to review the budget. The next regular meeting will be called to order Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m.