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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
August 12, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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August 12, 2015

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015 Sk Superintendent search continues Ann Powers Staff Writer apowers@plu The search for a new K-12 principal in Greenville is over, while the hunt for a new superintendent continues, according to Plumas Unified School District officials. Dr. Jerry Merica-Jones, an educator with more than 30 years of experience, accepted the principal position at Indian Valley Elementary and Greenville Junior-Senior High schools. According to Assistant Superintendent Terry Oestreich, "(Merica-Jones) is currently working through the hiring paperwork and plans to start work as soon as possible," adding that his acceptance of the offer is, "Fantastic news." Merica-Jones comes to Plumas County from San Diego where he has been a family leader and teacher at O'Farrell Charter School since 1996. Previously, he was an instructor, principal, superintendent and swimming coach at various schools throughout California and Ohio. Along with his wide-ranging experience, Merica-Jones brings extensive academic credentials to the position as well. He earned a bachelor of science in psychology at Santa Clara University, has a master's degree from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, followed by another master's he completed at the University of San Francisco. He also has numerous certifications and holds a doctorate in education leadership. Originally from Jamaica, Merica-Jones moved to the U.S. when he was 13. He said he looks forward to the new "challenging and daunting" opportunity in Greenville and settling into the community with his wife of 41 years, Susan, who is a professor and registered nurse. The couple has three sons who have all graduated from prestigious institutions including Wheaton College and the U.S. Air Force Academy. "I'm here for the long haul," he said. "I need to make sure I'm out and about and visible." GHS Assistant Varsity Football Coach Dave Keller said he already is well received. "He stopped by our practice and the players took to him really quickly within minutes," noted Keller. "He certainly has a lot of experience and I'm Dr. Jerry Merica-Jones impressed. I have confidence he's an effective communicator and will be a good principal." And as a good prificipal, Merica-Jones said his decisions and actions will stem from the strength-based leadership school of thought. "My role is to identify strengths, encou :age those strengths and strengthen those strengths," he explained, adding that research shows this approach is highly successful in helping schools and students thrive. After approving the selection of Greenville's new principal, district directors turned their attention to the ongoing superintendent search. The board reviewed public comments and screened applicants for the job left vacant by former Superintendent Micheline Miglis. Last month, PUSD hosted meetings in Chester, Greenville, Quincy and Portola gathering information on the kind of candidate that constituents want leading the school system. About 35 online surveys were also submitted from the public identifying key qualifications for the job. A popular and repeated request was to give special preference to local candidates. "We don't want someone to use this district as a stepping stone to bigger and Plumas Unified School District officials gather review public comments and screen applicants Powers in Quincy, Aug. 5, to approve the selection of Greenville's new K-12 principal, for the vacant superintendent position they hope to fill by Oct 5. Photo by Ann "My role is to identify strengths, encourage those strengths and strengthen those strengths." Dr. Jerry Merica-Jones Newly hired K-12 principal Greenville better employment somewhere else," said Helen Lemnah, a Quincy Elementary School teacher. "If they are local candidates, give serious consideration to the homegrown." Locals also emphasized they want a superintendent who can: -- Address declining enrollment issues. -- Identify and build on strengths already in place. -- Streamline underperforming faculty and staff members. -- Resolve disputes with the Plumas Charter chool system. -- Make improvements with limited resources. District officials said the public's feedback has been valuable and they are confident a qualified contender will surface. All-You-Can-Eat Fridays from S-8:30prn Ribs & Chicken Salmon and Veggie Kabobs w/reservations) Bonfire Sing-A-Long with S'Mores! Horseshoe Tournaments. Swimming Horseback Rides Mornings & Evenings. Wagon Rides Start at 6pro Reservations Appreciated! Quincy 2116 Greenhorn Ranch Road *BBG 10 miles east of Quincy "We have a good candidate pool," said Board President Leslie Edlund. "It's been a good experience to work with staff, work with each other and the community." 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