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Kelseyville Unified Fills Principal Positions with Familiar Faces

Kelseyville Unified Fills Principal Positions with Familiar Faces

Kelseyville, CA –  In response to the retirement announcement of Riviera Elementary School Principal Paul McGuire at the end of this school year, Kelseyville Unified School District (KVUSD) will do an “admin shuffle,” according to Superintendent Dr. Nicki Thomas. 

Next year, Kelseyville Elementary School Principal Tavis Perkins will return to Riviera Elementary, Mountain Vista Middle School (MVMS) Principal Scott Conrad will move to Kelseyville Elementary (KES), and Kelseyville High School Vice Principal Adriana Rodriguez Macias will become the Principal of MVMS. Principal Mike Jones will remain at Kelseyville High School. Perkins will also oversee the district’s alternative education schools: Kelseyville Learning Academy, and Ed Donaldson Continuation High School, and the Community Day School. All three administrators expressed excitement about the changes, while also saying they will miss their current schools.

Returning to “the Riv,” as many refer to Riviera Elementary, is a homecoming of sorts for Perkins. He worked as a teaching assistant the first year the school opened, and years later, it is where he landed as a principal. Perkins looks forward to supporting and expanding programs he started when he was principal there before COVID. One such program involves professional learning communities, a district initiative to provide teachers with the time and tools to continually improve their skills through collaboration. 

“Education evolves, and when our teachers can work with each other to evaluate the data, focus on key standards, and identify gaps in learning, they can support our students even better,” he explained. 

Teachers are not the only ones who benefit from sharing ideas. Administrators at all Kelseyville schools regularly support each other. Every week, McGuire and Perkins meet to discuss challenges and opportunities, and Perkins looks forward to continuing these meetings with Conrad, as he takes the helm at the district’s largest elementary school.

Conrad says he is ready for a new challenge and excited about working with the KES staff to support students and their families. Like many administrators, one of Conrad’s first challenges at his new school will be to fill open teaching positions. California faces a statewide teacher shortage, but Conrad believes Kelseyville Unified is in a stronger position than many because of the way it supports new teachers. 

“I really feel like we do an exceptional job supporting new teachers, certainly at MVMS but also districtwide,” he said. 

As far as other plans for next year, Conrad says once the school year ends, he will put all his energy into his new school community. He will set priorities based on what he learns from staff and student families. Two areas of focus already on his radar include supporting English Learner students and preparing students for the transition from elementary to middle school.

“I will miss the students and staff at MVMS, of course, but I am looking forward to getting to know everyone at KES. The important thing through this admin shuffle is that we are all here to serve the same kids, the same community. All students are ‘our students,’” he said. 

He appreciates the district’s practice of hiring from within when possible, because he says it provides “consistency for our community and continuity that is good for kids.” Like Perkins, Conrad is confident in the leadership taking over in his absence. He calls the combination of incoming principal, Adriana Rodrguez Macias, and the vice principal, Catie Mostin, a “dynamic duo” and says Macias is a great addition to MVMS. 

For her part, Macias is eager to take on her new role. “As a school principal, I can bring people together to create more effective change on a bigger scale–education partners, community stakeholders, and even state leaders. When administrators have their heart in the right place, we can be strong resources. It’s amazing what people can do when we work together for kids,” she said.

Her initial goals are to “meet the kids where they are and challenge them to do better.” She believes strong support programs paired with high academic expectations enable students to succeed.  She sees middle school as a bridge, a time when students evolve from youngsters to young adults. Having worked at Kelseyville High School for so many years, she knows how to help MVMS students prepare, both in terms of academic rigor and social-emotional development. 

“I believe if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you,” she said. She wants MVMS to be a school where students feel empowered to learn and grow.

As McGuire contemplates retirement after 20 years of helping students learn and grow at Kelseyville Unified, he had these parting words.  

“I know my colleagues will all do well. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next year. Mr. Perkins is great with kids, so they’ll love him at the Riv. I think Mr. Conrad will really enjoy learning what the younger students have to teach. And I know Mrs. Macias will do well–the trick is to let kids know you’re on their side, and she already does that,” McGuire said.

He also expressed gratitude for his career at Kelseyville Unified. He thanked John Berry and Dave McQueen for hiring him and making him feel so welcome while also recognizing Dr. Nicki Thomas for encouraging him to become an administrator.  He named Tammy VanHousen, Tavis Perkins, and Joyce Paiva as individuals who stood out among so many during his time with the district. Finally, he said he was grateful to his dad, another school principal, for being a role model and mentor and of course his wife, Suzin, for believing in him.

 

Tavis PerkinsScott ConradAdriana  Rodriguez MaciasPaul McGuireMike Jones

 

Photos (left to right): Tavis Perkins, Scott Conrad, Adriana Rodriguez Macias, Paul McGuire, Mike Jones

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