The Mountain Valley Unified School District Board has a new member, one who should be familiar to students and the community.

The board met in special session Feb. 5 to find a replacement for Lisa Barrow, who submitted her resignation saying her family is moving to a new phase in their lives.

In an interview, District Supt. Debbie Miller said there were initially two candidates, but one withdrew her name. The board appointed Keith Wright, a local pastor who has also worked as a substitute for many years at Hayfork High and Hayfork Elementary schools.

“The sad part is we’re losing him as a reliable substitute teacher,” Miller said.

The school board is also continuing its search for a new superintendent/high school principal to replace Miller, who announced she’ll be retiring in June.

Applications close on Feb. 21. A community and staff input meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 25 at the high school library for attendees to comment not on specific candidates but on what they’d like to see in a superintendent, Miller said.

Interviews are tentatively scheduled for March 4.

Tonight, Feb. 12, the board is scheduled to discuss keeping Miller on for a time as a consultant on the rebuilding project underway due to the discovery of mold at the schools. Putting that on the new superintendent “would be cruel at this point,” Miller said.

Such an arrangement within six months of retirement would have to be approved by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

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