Berg starts his tenure today and will work with Fred Cogan, Administrator on Special Assignment from Madera County Superintendent of Schools Office, during this transition.
“Mr. Berg comes to us having retired from a 32-year career in Fresno area school districts,” the Board notes in a memo to staff. “He has extensive knowledge in school budget and finance as a former Chief Business Official, and a thorough understanding of all aspects of school districts, having served his last six years as Superintendent of Central Unified.”
Berg reportedly retired from Central Unified in 2015 and has continued as an educational consultant since that time.
“Mike is looking forward to meeting District staff, students and community, and plans to schedule meetings for this and next week to meet with school staff and departments individually to acclimate himself to the programs, people and momentum that will carry Yosemite Unified through this transition into a positive future. We are enthusiastic about the experience, knowledge and thoughtful approach Mr. Berg brings to us.”
The hiring of Mike Berg comes after Superintendent Cecelia Green went out on leave Feb. 9 and remains on paid leave at this time, according to the Board.
“Because he is retired, Mike can only work part-time due to his pension limitations,” explains Board President Tammy Loveland. “We have an open-ended contract with Mike and plan on working together as long as it takes to make the necessary adjustments in moving the district forward.”
The Interim Superintendent was introduced to the community at the Board meeting Monday night, and spoke about the challenges the District is currently facing and his ability to effect change.
“Essentially they have some structural, fiscal issues that probably 40 percent of districts in the state have,” Berg said in a statement to ABC 30 Action News. “Because that’s my strongest suit, they’ve asked me to come and work alongside them to reset their internal controls, reset their budget.”
In a Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees on Monday, Mar. 5, the Board voted to approve a resolution to reduce 17 certificated positions. Loveland said the resolution was due to legal requirements of the education code in terms of notifications and that the District has until May to rescind some of these notices if the “budget progress” allows.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Mar. 14, Berg noted, “I am confident that the number of potential staff reductions will be reduced between now and the May 15 deadline to activate such notices.”
On Monday, Interim Superintendent Berg reaffirmed what the Board had previously stated — no District programs will be cut.
“We’re not going to impact one program in Yosemite Unified. It’s going to be a very positive transition.”
This article was edited on Wednesday, Mar. 14 at 12:20 p.m. to accurately reflect the Interim Superintendent’s statement regarding staff reductions.