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Kenwood School board picks board replacement and new superintendent/principal

Kenwood School board picks board replacement and new superintendent/principal

By Jay Gamel

Kenwood Elementary School District has a new board member and will soon have a new superintendent, both approved at the March 22, 2021, regular school board meeting.

Cheryl Ghisla, one of two applicants for the board opening, was tapped to replace Amy Volger, who is moving out of the district after many years of service to the school. Bridget Paul, a teacher at Altamira Middle School with impressive credentials, was also eager to serve.

Ghisla has been a fixture in the Kenwood School system for over 23 years, having taught second, third, and fourth grades there. Her husband, Tony, and both daughters attended Kenwood Elementary and her granddaughter is entering the first grade this fall. “We will have three generations of Ghisla relations going to this school,” she said. Since retiring from teaching in 2017, Ghisla served two years as president of the Kenwood Education Foundation.

“The challenge is getting our kids back to school,” Ghisla stated. The past year of distance learning has been hard on parents and students, and the return to some semblance of normalcy will be a process, not an event, as schools open in the first weeks of April to staggered classes two or three days a week, with distance learning continuing for the foreseeable future.

Ghisla is replacing Amy Vogler, who is embarking on a “new family adventure” in Vermont. She and her husband, Rocky, and their daughter will have moved by the time this article appears. She served on the board since 2018.

New superintendent chosen

Replacing Bob Bales as the superintendent/ principal of the Kenwood Elementary School District after 23 years was no small job, but Nathan Myers is a good fit, looked at from all angles. The 51-year-old Monte Rio Union School District superintendent/principal was the unanimous choice of the school board’s directors and will take over on July 1, when Bales officially retires. Bales has agreed to sign on as a consultant for the next year and perhaps more, to make the transition as seamless as possible. “The board spent many long and thoughtful hours reading applications, matching qualifications for the position, developing interview questions based on the search criteria and finally interviewing applicants over two days,” board chair Pat Alexander wrote in a letter announcing Myer’s selection. “The decision about who to hire was a very difficult one for us to make since there were so many outstanding applicants.”

“I’m excited to be picked,” Myers said in a phone call with the Kenwood Press. He has lived in Santa Rosa for 27 years with his wife, raising a daughter who is now in college.

“I’ve taught every grade from second to fifth,” he said. “I like challenging myself to do something new.” School

According to Alexander, Myers has over 20 years’ teaching experience and has served in his administrative capacities for the past five years. “He has been able to successfully lead the Monte Rio community through recent floods, fires, evacuations and power shutoffs,” she wrote. She fully expects Myers will continue a history of being active in community organizations like Rotary, chambers of commerce, sports and other activities for kids.

He holds a B.S. in Liberal Studies, an Administrative Credential from Sonoma State University and earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, Alexander noted.