Carbon District names new superintendent of schools
The Carbon Board of Education announced their choice of a new superintendent Wednesday evening after a lengthy search through a citizens committee and by the board itself.
George Park, who has an extensive educational background, was named to the position.
"We had eight wonderful applicants for the job and any of them could have done the job," said board president Barry Deeter as he made the announcement. "But in the end the citizens committee and the board has decided on Dr. Park."
Park's background in education is extensive. He got his bachelors degree from Cal-Berkeley, his masters from California State-Eastbay and his Ph.D from Gonzaga University. He started out in 1980 working as a social studies and math teacher at Campolindo High School in Morongo, Calif. He has since served in various capacities with a number of school districts including being a principal in Brookings, Ore. and the superintendent of two school disticts, Easton School District in Easton, Wash. and of Garfield County School District here in Utah.
Park also acted as an administrative consultant in the Puget Sound Educational Service District for over a year.
According to remarks he made to the board at the meeting he wasn't always the best math student, although later he ended up teaching the subject.
"I had one teacher who helped me because I was struggling with math," said Park. "He was my best friend's dad, so I think he took a little pity on me. But he looked at my goal of going to Cal-Berkeley and told me I would need three years of math to get in. He helped me a lot. I understand the struggles that students have with math."
While July 1 is the official start date, Park will be assuming the position sooner since retiring Patsy Bueno, the present superintendent, is actually leaving sometime this month.
On Thursday morning the Sun Advocate met with Park and had a conversation about his past and his future.
"There are some good things going on here in this district," said Park. "This is a good district, with a good, supportive board of education."
Park says that there are a lot of great teachers in the district and that he looks forward to working with them. He also said that great teachers need great support from everyone including the community, the board and from the administration.
"Great teachers can only teach if they have a good curriculum that is intriguing to kids," stated Park. "We need to be sure that they have the tools they need to do their job."
As a consultant in the Puget Sound area, Park ran into many problems that needed to be solved and was able to be on the team that helped to solve those situations. One district had lost support from its public because of some conflicts of interest with the past superintendent.
"We had to be creative because the way the schools in Washington are funded is different from here," he said. "The public has to vote on levies to fund the schools and they were turning them down. That district was in trouble so we asked people from the community to volunteer to make up some of the shortages. They responded strongly and soon those volunteers saw what we were trying to do in the schools and went out into the community and convinced the voters to support the schools again. The were instrumental in getting the funding back for the schools."
Park said he is looking forward to working with the community and the professionals that make up the Carbon School District.