By Stevi Valenzuela, Student Journalist for Minarets Press
O’NEALS – On April 13, the Chawanakee Unified School District Board of Trustees approved Dr. Marcy Guthrie as the superintendent of the District. Before coming to Chawanakee Unified, Dr. Guthrie served as a general education and special education teacher in Kerman and Fresno Unified, then as principal of George Washington Elementary School in the Hanford Elementary School District and Fort Washington Elementary School in Clovis Unified. She has served as an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in Kings Canyon Joint Unified School District and most recently, as the superintendent of Mother Lode Union School District in El Dorado County for the last 8 years. When she was a teacher in Kerman, Dr. Guthrie coached an undefeated seventh grade volleyball team three years in a row.
Dr. Guthrie’s schedule has already become busy, meeting the staff and visiting the different schools in the district.
A few years back, during Dr. Guthrie’s first visit to Minarets High School, she attended a Computer Using Educator (CUE) conference hosted by MHS. At that time, she remembered thinking that Minarets looked like a place of higher education for students and almost even looked like a community college. Coming back now, she says, “It’s like it has grown into itself and so much more.”
Dr. Guthrie relishes in the fact that Minarets’ learning curriculum is technology and project based, explaining how it touches on every subject, whether it be the arts, English, history, math, or science. She went on to explain that, “When a project is thoughtfully designed by the teacher, the subject areas included in it are enhanced and actually very engaging for students. She adds, “Project based learning is very motivating for students because they often have choice in the problem/project being studied and they must present their results to an authentic audience. This adds relevance to the content and standards being learned.”
Dr. Guthrie feels very much accustomed to smaller school districts, having worked in a number of other smaller districts herself. The move from her last school district was bittersweet, she says, but after eight years of being the superintendent there, it was time for a change. She describes her emotions as “overwhelmed, overjoyed, and very excited” to be joining the Chawanakee Unified and Minarets team.
When interacting with students around campus, Dr. Guthrie wishes to be called just that, Dr. Guthrie. She actively chooses to keep her doctorate title to show all students, but especially the female students that they too can earn and hold such a prestigious label. She wants to empower all students to be the best they can be.
The new superintendent’s goals for Minarets, and the district as a whole, are to keep students and teachers on the cutting edge of curriculum and instruction programs and also hold true to the uniqueness of the District’s spirit. She also wants to incorporate Keep It Native Day, a Minarets High School tradition that celebrates local Native American culture, into the school culture in a more integrated way. She explains, “Celebrating who we are collectively and uniquely can and should be more than just one day a year. We need to promote more awareness for the kind of community Chawanakee Unified and Minarets have always been proud to be.”
Dr. Guthrie is ready to be active in the district and is eager to begin her work with Chawanakee Unified. Welcome to the family, Dr. Guthrie!
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