COMMERCIAL-NEWS | ROBERT TOMLINSON - Nikki Nash, who has been a teacher, principal and curriculum director at Three Rivers Community Schools, was approved as the new superintendent of TRCS during Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

Nash officially named new TRCS superintendent

THREE RIVERS — Three Rivers Community Schools has its woman.

On Monday, the TRCS Board of Education approved a two-year contract for current interim superintendent Nikki Nash to be the district’s next superintendent, officially shedding the interim tag she had in place since the resignation of former superintendent Ron Moag in October.

The vote was 6-0, with Trustee Kevin Hamilton absent for the meeting.

Nash told board members following the vote she was excited to be the new permanent superintendent.

“Like I said in October, I had no idea this is where the path would take me, but I have a lot of passion for this district and I’m really looking for some longevity and stability and to get things in some way we had in the past,” Nash said. “I’ve looked at the last six, seven, eight years and all the changes we had, and I’m ready to have some stability and move forward, especially for all our kiddos in the district, but especially our staff and our community. I don’t know exactly all that it’s going to bring, but I’m here and I’m not going anywhere for a while.”

Nash, who was previously a teacher, principal and curriculum director in the district, was selected for the position following a formal interview she did for the board on March 7. Her being a candidate for the position wasn’t truly known until just a month ago, when Board President Erin Nowak said during their Feb. 21 meeting Nash agreed to interview for the position. When the announcement was made, the board decided to negate going with a search firm to find the new superintendent.

The board agreed to extend Nash a contract at their last meeting March 7. The contract took effect March 21, and goes until June 30, 2024.

Under the contract, obtained via Freedom of Information Act request, Nash will earn $135,000 per year as superintendent, along with a $2,500 bonus if she is rated as “highly effective” by the board or $1,500 if rated “effective.” Board members said the details of the contract were made after looking at other similar contracts for superintendents in the area.

Nowak thanked Nash for being the interim, and praised her for the work she did to keep the district going after Moag’s resignation, as well as district administration for helping with the transition.

“You’ve done an absolutely phenomenal job of continuing to run the district when we had a big void not having a superintendent,” Nowak said. “I know your job is made a lot easier by your team, and everybody’s stepped up in one way or another to fill positions, and probably found themselves doing things they never thought they’d do. I thank you all for your patience and hard work.”

In other business…

  • The board held a first reading of student handbooks for the 2022-23 school year. One of the most notable proposed changes discussed by building principals include removing a restriction on hats and hoods from the dress code at all grade levels and allowing them in school, with Three Rivers High School Assistant Principal Nick Vandenbrink saying they “by and large do not disrupt the educational process.” Nash said there was a lot of discussion surrounding the topic, saying hats and hoods would be allowed “within reason,” and that some kids consider hats and hoods to be “a safeguard for them.”
    Other proposed changes include offering a tobacco prevention program in exchange for a reduced suspension on a first offense of the e-cigarette/vaping policy at the high school; changes to the attendance/truancy policy; and adding a striking/threatening personnel policy in the elementary schools to match the same policy in the middle school and high school. A second reading and adoption of the handbooks would be done in a future meeting.
  • The board held a closed session for student discipline, with a student ultimately being placed on long-term suspension.
  • The board tabled approval of a policy update for equal access for non-district sponsored student clubs and activities until their next meeting April 18, due to looking further into guidance on what the district can do if students want to participate in a student club but a parent was not in support.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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