Principal’s corner: Myth v. reality at Sierra High, Cold Stream Alternative |

Principal’s corner: Myth v. reality at Sierra High, Cold Stream Alternative

Greg Wohlman
Courtesy photo |

Editor’s note

“Principal’s Corner” is a regular feature in the Sierra Sun, in which a principal from a Tahoe Truckee Unified School District school shares news and events happening at his or her school, as well as any information that may impact the students, staff or families of that school. This month, we feature Greg Wohlman, principal of Sierra High School and Cold Stream Alternative.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Being a part of an educational system is truly an awarding experience. To see the minds of teenagers and young adults grow each day is something special.

However, for this growth to occur, students must be emotionally supported, well-fed, safe and surrounded by a network of caring adults.

We offer all of these elements and more at Sierra High School and Cold Stream Alternative High School.

Both schools are part of TTUSD and offer incredible programs that provide students additional pathways to a high school diploma.

I am honored to be the new principal of Sierra High School and Cold Stream Alternative School.

The students at Sierra High School (SHS) and Cold Stream Alternative School (CSA) impress me each day with their aptitude and drive to exceed their own expectations and the expectations of others.

I realize that many people in our community are not familiar with the alternative school programs we offer within TTUSD and there are also many myths associated with alternative schools in general.

So let’s play Myth Busters and give you a better feel for what our schools are really all about!

Myth: Diplomas from Sierra High are not regular diplomas so you cannot attend college with a diploma from SHS or CSA.

Fact: You can attend a university or community college with a diploma from SHS or CSA. Diplomas from these schools are regular high school diplomas that are approved by the State of California and fully accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (W.A.S.C).

Myth: Our alternative schools only have failing students.

Fact: Many of our students are A/B students, and 35 percent of our students in SHS are also attending Sierra College and have the opportunity to receive dual credits. Credits would appear on a Sierra College transcript and counts towards their high school requirements.

Myth: Students at SHS and CSA do not have to take as many English or Math classes to graduate.

Fact: Students at SHS and CSA have the same English, Math, Science, and Social Studies requirements to earn a regular high school diploma.

Myth: All the classes are really easy at SHS and CSA.

Fact: Classes at SHS and CSA are rigorous like TTUSD’s comprehensive high schools and students and staff are held to high expectations. Cold Stream’s main difference is the flexibility in scheduling that the independent study program provides for our students.

Myth: Students at SHS and CSA cannot participate in sports, the arts, or other elective programs at our other District high schools.

Fact: Students at SHS and CSA have full access to the extra-curricular and elective programs offered at our comprehensive high schools within TTUSD.

Myth: SHS and CSA do not have school mascots.

Fact: We have school spirit and school mascots! SHS are the Panthers and the school colors are black, red, and white. CSA are the Cutthroat Trout and the school colors are gold and black.

I am new to TTUSD, but not new to education. I was a classroom teacher for almost a decade and taught multiple grades, subjects, and age levels simultaneously and at times seeing over 220 students a day.

My administration duties in education brought me to some of the most challenging schools/places in the United States. I was a school administrator in a K-12 setting for one year, and a school administrator for six years overseeing three schools simultaneously.

As an educator I have seen many different learning styles over the years, worked with many different educators, and observed numerous teaching styles.

One thing always holds true: All students can learn. One thing remains certain: We all need to work together to put the student first.

Some things never change, but education always does. Perhaps this is because of educational law, public opinion, societal shifts, or perhaps it is because our students continue to change.

The great educators flex with these changes, help shape them, focus them, and present them to our students to insure learning each day for every student. Those people work here in TTUSD.

On behalf of my staff, students and I, we would like to express our gratitude to the community for their tremendous support of education. We have many local entities that partner with our schools and fund programs to help keep our students safe, sound, and exceeding expectations. We thank all of you.

If you have questions or would like to consider Sierra High School or Cold Stream Alternative School as an educational pathway please give me a call at 530-582-2640 or stop by Sierra High School anytime.

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