Finney takes reins as TTHS principal
During any given class-change period of the day at Tahoe-Truckee High School, Mike Finney can be seen hanging out in front of lockers, chatting with teachers and students.In his step up to the principalship for Truckee High, a move that was formally announced at last week’s school board meeting, that much will stay the same.Mike Finney is already a familiar face at the school. Following his job as the assistant principal for North Tahoe High School, he came to Truckee High at the beginning of the 1988-89 school year. In his 13th year at the school, his position changed from assistant principal to vice principal.His career as an educator began 21 years ago as a high school teacher at Los Plumas High School in Oroville. He taught a little bit of everything – from science to woodshop – there and in the Anderson Union High School District before taking a job as the assistant track coach for Texas A&M at Kingsvale.It was there that he decided to pursue an interest in school administration and received a master’s of science degree in education administration.He worked as the vocational director and athletic director for Macomb High School in Illinois before taking the all-encompassing job as principal for Laton High School, Conejo Junior High and Oakview Continuation School near Fresno.”We saw the opportunity to move to the mountains and out of the heat,” Finney said of his move to Tahoe.The new position will require him to become more involved in curriculum and budget development as well as working with teachers, instead of focusing so much on discipline.”I plan to not only have fun with it, but work with the kids and the staff to keep going what’s good and make changes where changes need to be made,” he said. “I will sit down with teachers and with students and take a look at the future.”One big hurdle he will face is the administration of the first round of high school exit exams, curriculum standards-based exams that are required by the state department of education and that all students must pass before finishing high school.Freshmen will be given the first round of tests in March, but scores won’t count on their records until they take the test next year, in their sophomore year.Results from this year’s test will be analyzed by the state to see where changes need to be made.”We’re all gearing up right now to give that test,” Finney said. “Then there is STAR testing in April and May and then graduation is coming up and coming fast.”Basically, Finney will stay pretty busy and isn’t complaining one bit about the fact that TTHS is the one school he has worked at the longest.”The kids here have always been great,” he said. “It’s the greatest group of kids I’ve ever been around. We hear great reports about them wherever they go when they leave here. They represent the community and Truckee pride very nicely.””I’m looking forward to getting totally up to speed and to Truckee High’s continued success,” he said.There is also a new face on the Truckee High campus: Todd Porter will be the new assistant principal for the school, coming from North Tahoe High School, where he was assistant principal for the first part of the school year.
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