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High honors for Corning school administrators
It has been only 18 months since Catherine Reimer became superintendent of the Corning Union Elementary School District, but in the short time, she has certainly made a name for herself.
Reimer has been named Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California Administrators on the Region 1 level. This honor came after she earned the title earlier at the Tehama County Chapter level of the association.
In addition, the district's Assistant Superintendent Diane Bailey was selected as the association's Co-Administrator of the Year at the regional level.
"I was quite surprised being that I am relatively new to the area," Reimer said. "I feel honored to be recognized by my colleagues and I am very thankful."
Bailey said the recognition she has received is a reflection of the progress the staff and teachers in the district are making.
"The district has implemented initiatives to meet student needs and it takes everyone in the district, parents, and families to make the difference," she said.
Reimer said this is the first time for her to receive such an honor.
She began serving as superintendent here in Corning on July 1, 2011. Before that she was superintendent of two small school districts in Monterey County.
Reimer was selected on a set of standards the association feels exemplifies instructional leadership, such as promoting the success of all students in areas of development, learning, safe environment, collaborating with families and community, modeling a personal code of ethics, and advocating the use of new technology.
In her 18 months of district leadership, one of the accomplishments Reimer has lead in planning is the implementation of learning centers at each of the district's school sites.
"Our learning centers opened this past fall," she said. "Learning centers are classrooms where students receive intensive small group interventions for reading and language arts. Several support mathematics as well."
She explained that the purpose of the centers is to support students who are not meeting grade level standards and ensure they have the necessary skills to be successful.
"Last year we also began planning for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support. This is an approach to discipline that rewards and promotes positive behaviors schoolwide," Reimer said. "We have seen substantial positive changes in the overall climate and cultures of our schools."
Under her guidance, the district has also implemented a change at Maywood Middle School, moving all sixth-grade students from that site to elementary schools, making them kindergarten through sixth-grade. Reimer also led the district in making Woodson Elementary School a kindergarten through eighth-grade campus.
"We have also began the process of implementing the new Common Core State Standards. I believe the new standards will benefit students immensely in that the standards are focused on authentic learning and not choosing the correct item on a multiple-choice test question," Reimer said.
Since Reimer took the reins the district is bringing back Science Environmental Camp for sixth-grade students, and instituted a Dance Academy for the students.
The Superintendent said her future plans for the district are to continue focusing on student learning and bring as many supplemental and extended learning experience to students as possible.
She believes there is no one most important aspect to educating children, but education is a "combination of the whole."
"Students need a rigorous education, but also need opportunities to explore the arts and sciences," Reimer said. "Children who live in poverty especially need extended learning opportunities that they might not otherwise receive.
"Without these other experiences, school can become boring and we see a large number of students drop out at early ages. I want to ensure that every students is given the opportunity to pursue whatever career path they deem desirable."
Bailey joined the Corning Union Elementary School District team of administrators from the Tehama County Department of Education where she served as the assistant Special Education Local Plan Area director.
She has also been a department chair for special education, a resource and learning center teacher, a beginning teacher support and assistance provider, a teacher in an alternative education program and a paraprofessional in general education and special education, according to the district.
Bailey administers all elements of the district's special education and pupil personnel services programs. She also designs, implements, and maintains learning centers at school sites, and works directly with teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators to improve instruction for students.
Reimer and Bailey will be honored by the association's Tehama County Chapter during an awards dinner at the Rolling Hills Casino on April 11, and the Region 1 recipients receive recognition at the Association of California Administrators Region 1-4 annual conference Delegate Assembly held April 27 in Reno at the Grand Sierra Resort.