School Board Starts the Year with Optimism

by Amy Claire

At the first board meeting since the Antioch Unified School District began its 2011-2012 session, positive attitudes abounded. After the flag salute and approval of the previous meeting’s minutes, superintendent Donald Gill took a moment to thank the district’s teachers, staff, administrators, parents and students for helping the school year kick off “exceptionally well.”

Part of the smooth beginning was attributed to the fact that the district’s 70 summer construction projects are all complete or nearing completion.

Several new administrators introduced themselves to the board, including two new vice principals at Deer Valley High School, Rachel Bartlett Preston and Susan Ceballos. Mark McCain, Antioch Middle School’s new associate principal, thanked the district for their support during the transition. Scott Bergerhouse, who had been the co-principal at Deer Valley High School, shared his excitement at taking over as principal at Carmen Dragon Elementary School, saying, “I’ve got to be the happiest man in the world.”

Angela Hotchkiss, director of the district’s special education program, gave a presentation in which she announced that the program has met all of its improvement goals and has found several ways to improve its fiscal policy. She also said about 40 special education students currently attending nonpublic schools will be unable to return to Antioch schools until the 2013-14 school year for legal and fiscal reasons.

After approving expulsion re-entries, human resources positions, a contractor’s bid for work at Antioch Middle School, interfund transfers and purchasing procedures, and discussing future possibilities for Brown Act compliance training, the board closed the open meeting and returned to a closed session.

Next month’s school board meetings will take place at 7 p.m. on September 14 and 28 at 510 G Street in Antioch.

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