County's top school official announces plans to retire
Owens, who will be retiring along with Associate County Superintendent Michael Justice, said his last day would formally be on June 30 of this year. He said he is retiring for both family health issues and personal reasons.
Since the remainder of his term will officially end on Dec. 31, 2010, the board is expected to make a decision at its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 9, to appoint a replacement to fill his position.
“I made the recommendation that the board should consider appointing Assistant County Superintendent Jud Jensen to fill my expired term,” Owens said. “If appointed, Mr. Jensen would take office on July 1, 2008, and serve until Dec. 31, 2010. However, Mr. Jensen, as well as any other interested candidates, would be declaring their candidacy for the June 2010 election in approximately one and a half years.”
According to a press release from LCOE secretary Stacy Russell, Owens was first elected as superintendent of schools in 1998, and was subsequently elected to two additional terms in 2002 and 2006. According to the press release, Owens will have completed 36 years of educational service.
Russell’s press release also provided some of Owen’s background over the course of his long and successful career:
“After graduating from University of California, Davis and serving as an Army medic in Vietnam, Owens received his teaching credential from California State University, Chico in 1972. He was then hired by the Siskiyou Union High School District to teach at Fort Jones High School, where he taught social science and coached for 11 years. After forest reserves declined in the mid-1980s, Fort Jones was closed, and Mr. Owens taught one year at Mt. Shasta High School while completing his administrative credential. In 1984, he accepted the position of vice principal at McNary Heights Elementary School in Umatilla, Oregon, and then returned to California two years later, after accepting the position of curriculum coordinator at the Lassen County Office of Education. Mr. Owens served as curriculum coordinator for 12 years, while simultaneously acting as Ravendale School superintendent/principal for 10 years, until his election as county superintendent of schools.”
Owens noted his particular pride in some of the accomplishments during his time with LCOE.
“With the community’s assistance, the county office has continued to organize and support such programs as (the) Sixth grade outdoor education camp, geography bowl, spelling bee, science fair, academic olympics, California Day and sober graduation,” Owens said. Owens also said he was proud of how over the last nine years, LCOE has expanded opportunity programs and safety response plans, established technology services, started Isaac Roop History Day, and numerous other accomplishments.
“These certainly are not my accomplishments,” Owens said in the press release. “But the accomplishments of the county office staff and board, as well as dedicated district administrators, board members, teachers, and support staff. Together, I believe we have served well, and we will continue to be a positive force for quality education in Lassen County.”
The future of California education
When asked how he felt about the future of schools in California, Owens made plain his views on state spending and budgeting.
“Even though the governor had proclaimed this as the ‘Year of Education,’ Lassen County and all of the other counties in the state are faced with very difficult fiscal realities,” Owens said. “With the $16 billion state deficit and the loss of forest reserve funding, all state and county agencies are being forced to again make significant cuts in expenditures. The problem is that many of these same agencies, including education, have made cuts year after year, to the point that each additional cut will impact the quality of services to students and our community.”
Susanville Area Bicycle Association gets active on the Bizz Johnson Trail
May 23 — The Susanville Area Bicycle Association is inviting bikers, hikers, runners and walkers of all ages and skill levels to the Bizz Johnson Trail at 6 p.m. Tuesday evenings. The weekly event is part of an outdoor series the association will be putting on through October. The event will begin...Read More...
Lassen College basketball player receives scholarship
Justin McBride takes a shot for the Lassen Community College Cougars. McBride was on the 2013 Golden Valley Conference men’s basketball championship team and recently accepted a scholarship to attend and play basketball for Grace University in Omaha, Neb. Photo submitted May...Read More...
Herlong takes championship at annual volleyball tournament
The Herlong Lady Vikings eighth-grade volleyball team won the championship at the annual Play Day tournament Friday, May 3. The team poses with its championship trophy in the Westwood High School gym. Photo submitted May 21 — The Herlong Lady Vikings eighth-grade volleyball...Read More...