OAKHURST — There’s a new superintendent in town when it comes to Yosemite Unified School District. Last month, after a thorough search and participation by staff, students, parents and administration, the Board of Trustees appointed Glen Billington by unanimous vote.
“Mr. Billington comes to us with more than twenty-five years’ experience in public education,” notes Interim Superintendent Mike Berg. “He was most recently the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in Woodlake Unified in Tulare County.
Mike Berg was brought on board as interim superintendent last March, after the departure of then-superintendent Cecelia Greenberg. Berg announced on Dec. 11 that Mr. Billington would take the reigns effective January 1, and expressed gratitude for his time with the district.
“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to work with the finest educators and support staff I’ve encountered in my thirty-five years,” Berg continues, “and I have enjoyed the support and commitment of the Yosemite community as well.”
Message from the new superintendent, Glen Billington
It is an honor to serve as the Superintendent of this outstanding K-12 district.
Yosemite Unified includes two K-8 elementary schools, Rivergold Elementary School and Coarsegold Elementary School, along with Yosemite High School, Educational Options programs, and Adult Education programs. In addition, students from Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary School District join our district for their high school experience. The district staff is proud to serve all of these exceptional young people.
The district mission is, “To empower every student to realize his/her full potential in life.” This is accomplished by providing the highest levels of student opportunity; engaging students, parent and community in our mission; recruiting, retaining and developing the most knowledgeable, competent and committed staff; and serving as stewards of community resources. Yosemite Unified School District leads without limits, nurtures the love of learning, and serves the needs of our students, parents, staff and community.
I believe our students need to learn how to evaluate information effectively, think critically, solve problems creatively and work collaboratively in order to create a successful future in our rapidly changing world. As professionals, we need to embrace these same skills in our work to continually improve. This coupled with building strong nurturing relationships with our students is the best path to fulfilling our mission.
Our elementary students build foundational academic skills that will lead to success in high school. Intervention specialists provide academic and social support to students in need of assistance. Enrichment opportunities for all students include educational field trips, cross age mentoring and tutoring, and music instruction. In the upper elementary and middle school grades, students are eligible to participate in overnight field trips, athletics teams, and Mountain Area Ski School. Middle school students participate in elective classes including music, leadership and Spanish. Additional elective courses are offered to students at both Rivergold and Coarsegold elementary schools based on student interest and staff expertise. Additionally, interested students may compete for their school’s Academic Pentathlon and Math Competition teams.
Yosemite High School students are active participants in a rigorous and relevant curriculum that culminates in a senior project designed to prepare our students to launch themselves into the world. Freshmen are introduced to the senior project in the Badger Academy course. The high school curriculum includes Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate courses, and Dual Enrollment through State Center Community College and Universities providing the opportunity to earn college credit. Yosemite High’s extensive Career Technical Education programs include agriculture welding and sciences, auto technology, criminology, and sports medicine. Extensive Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) courses include music, theater arts and visual arts providing students with a wide range of experiences from a basic introduction to advanced college level courses.
High school students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of extra curricular and co-curricular programs including band, choir, drama, athletics and academic competitions such as Mock Trial, Academic Decathlon, ROTC, robotics, and a variety of student-created clubs. These opportunities help our students develop the teamwork, work ethic and problem solving skills that lead to success. Our students have accomplished much success in these areas and are competitive on a state level receiving recognition and awards at the county and state level in athletics, VAPA, CTE, and academic programs continuing the tradition of excellence at Yosemite High School.
For students looking for alternatives to the traditional school experience, Yosemite Unified offers a number of Educational Options programs. From traditional to blended learning, our curricula provide diverse ways to educate, learn, and inspire. For K-8 students, John Muir Academy blends traditional classroom learning approaches with an online learning environment to provide a dynamic 21st century learning experience. For 9th-12th grade students, an array of programs exist, including traditional independent study, an online independent study school and a robust continuation high school. Students enrolled in Educational Options programs have many of the same athletic and social opportunities afforded YHS students, which contributes to a full high school experience. Yosemite Unified also offers a growing adult education program that is available to the community.
I am sure that you will find Yosemite Unified to be a welcoming place for your children and that you will be proud to be part of the Yosemite Unified family and Badger Country.
Glen Billington, Superintendent