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Chatom Union consolidates super with principal
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The Chatom Union School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees approved the consolidation of the district superintendent position with the Mountain View Middle School principal position during their Tuesday  night board meeting.

According to CUSD Superintendent Jack Mayer, the move will save the district $110,000 over the next year, which could prove to be crucial if Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax extensions are not approved by California voters.

Mt. View principal Cherise Olvera was offered the job to assume the new superintendent/ principal position.  The district is not expected to renew Mayer’s contract which expires early this summer.

“Cherise has exhibited her ability to manage the district when she was interim superintendent. I am confident that the district will be in good hands,” said CUSD trustee Robert Santos. Cherise served as interim superintendent from February to June 2010 while Mayer was out due to medical leave.

“All things considered, the board feels this decision is the most prudent to advance the district in these economical and political times. This decision will fiscally benefit the district and its students in both the short and long terms,” Santos said.

The CUSD Board will look at a restructure of support personnel at Mt. View in order to accommodate the newly created position for Olvera. “That will be part of our discussions,” said Olvera. The final terms of the contract, such as salary, have not been finalized at this time. 

“We will make it work because we have a wonderful support system of parents and staff. Cuts are hard for anyone, and especially hard when cuts affect children, but we all care about the kids and we will make it work,” said Olvera.

Trustee Kevin Blount indicated the board has to make moves in anticipation of the possible cuts coming from the state level.

“We’ve had a healthy reserve because when we had good years we knew to put some away for a rainy day. But if this (tax) extension doesn’t happen, it’s going to be ugly,” he said.

Several years ago the Denair Unified School District took the same strategy, only to change it back this year.

“It was difficult. When you’re in that position something’s got to give. I was spending more time at the school level than in the district office,” said Superintendent Ed Parraz, who served as superintendent and principal.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.