Monday, June 25 , 2018, 12:47 pm | Overcast 68º


Longtime Washington Elementary Teacher Tia Blickley Named New Principal for McKinley

Santa Barbara school board also hears from Scott Brennand, a teacher for 24 years at San Marcos whose position has been eliminated

McKinley Elementary School will be headed by new Principal Tia Blickley next year, who has been a classroom teacher at Washington Elementary for 26 years and was appointed Tuesday night by the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Current Principal Emilio Handall, who helped the school get out of program achievement, will be leaving the school to become the district’s assistant superintendent of elementary education.

“I’m very excited to bring all my energy and experience to McKinley,” Blickley said. “I’m excited about the kids, I’m excited about the community and I’m excited about the staff.”

She has been with the district since 1986 and previously worked at the English Institute in Argentina and served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay.

Superintendent Dave Cash said Blickley embodies all the characteristics that McKinley parents and staff members asked for in a new leader. She is bilingual and tech-savvy, and has a clear vision for the school, a commitment to a rigorous learning environment and an open-door policy for everyone.

. . .

At Tuesday’s special meeting, the Board of Education also accepted an administrative law judge’s decision regarding the reduction in force notices sent out in March.

The judge decided that the district had acted appropriately and within the scope of its duties, according to personnel coordinator Ann Peak. Every notice was rescinded once the labor bargaining units made an agreement to furlough days; every notice but one, that is.

San Marcos High School teacher Scott Brennand has been there for 24 years, and his computer typing class is being cut from the school’s master schedule next year — making his position unnecessary, the district says.

His class is another avenue to teach English and grammar, and his classes include mostly English learners, special-education and at-risk students, he told the Board of Education. He said it’s important for students to be comfortable with technology, and it’s not safe to assume that every student has a computer at home or has already learned critical computer skills such as typing.

Brennand said his class always has full enrollment and gets students deferred from other department heads and counselors, since they know Brennand can deal with at-risk, emotional students better than others,. 

“Consider the dire consequences of losing the class on the English Learner department, special education and at-risk students,” he said.

Cash said that since Brennand has only a teaching certification in business, he couldn’t be transferred to another subject.

Brennand also served as San Marcos’ boys water polo coach and was named High School Coach of the Year in 1995 by the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table.

Santa Barbara Teachers Association President Layne Wheeler said the furlough agreement was meant to return all employees to their positions and encouraged the board to find a way to bring Brennand back.

Board members said their decision to accept the judge’s decision doesn’t reflect on Brennand’s years of hard work. They thanked him for his investment in the district’s students and said they were sorry his position was eliminated.

Brennand said he expected the ruling and now plans to get more single-subject credentials under his belt. He has a 2-year-old son and a mortgage, so he said he’ll try to get another job to support his family, either at SBUSD or another district.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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