Katie Kolker Named As Interim School Superintendent


Katie Kolker, principal at Palisades Glacier High School, was named interim
Superintendent of the Bishop Unified School District at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees Monday evening.
The appointment follows more than a month of tension focused on the former
superintendent, Jon Ray, who “amicably” parted ways with the District according to a
statement from the Board last Friday. “We trust this is the person to calm the waters,” said Board chair Taylor Ludwick.
If the reaction of the packed meeting room is any indication, the decision to name
Kolker superintendent through the end of the school year was a good one.
“I will be a conduit for your voice,” Kolker told the crowd, promising to raise the level of engagement. Referencing some of the changes proposed or implemented by Ray, Kolker said “we’ll be revisiting a lot of things.”
There was some trepidation from those in attendance the choice of a permanent
superintendent could end up as badly. “Let’s look at the process that led to this,” said Stacy Van Nest, athletic director, “so we don’t repeat it.”
This superintendent search will be conducted by the Inyo County Office of Education.
To cover Palisades, Dave Kalk, Bishop Union High School principal, will spend two hours a day at the campus and retired principal Betsy McDonald will also step-up to fill the void.
Some of the points of contention with Ray were the implementation of MAP testing and computer learning software. The breaking point came following a letter to parents that cited student underperformance. Teachers and administrators defended the quality of school programs at a meeting held September 30, indicating test results needed to improve but showed the students were on par with state results, scoring better than four out of five other comparable rural schools.

, , ,

4 Responses to Katie Kolker Named As Interim School Superintendent

  1. Mister Bee November 12, 2019 at 6:27 am #

    Probably the result of they’re own style of teaching.

  2. Miss Bee November 6, 2019 at 6:11 pm #

    That’s nice, AK, but apparently none of your swell teachers taught you the difference between “their” and “there.”

  3. Justin November 6, 2019 at 6:55 am #

    At the end of the day, our students are still below average. Something needs to change and the teachers, administration, and board need to realize that what they are doing is not working. As a parent of children in this district, we are very much aware of the curriculum here, and are considering online school if things don’t improve. Board, please bring in someone that knows what they are doing and don’t settle to simply calm the waters and continue this below average trend.

    • AK November 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm #

      Justin, everything you say is true, and I can’t agree with you more. As the child of a retired teacher, I hear it from an educators side too. My mother was repeatedly saying that she could not teach the way she wanted to. Her hands were tied by state and federal educational mandates. We all know what happens when government gets involved. They were regularly testing and evaluating instead of teaching. Teachers all have there own style and techniques to keep students interested and learning. I have fond memories of special teachers that personally helped me with problems, and kept me interested by there style of teaching. They enjoyed teaching and felt a lot of personal gratification in it. Now they have to teach like robots, and follow the state and federal guidelines. In a small district, we can and should have above average scores. I feel like we have a broken educational system, however, I don’t have any sure solutions to fix it. It does start with excellent leadership and happy, competent educators.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.