New principal ready for class at Truckee High
August 17, 2006
Just in time for fall, Tahoe Truckee High School has a new principal.Jay Cunningham was approved by the school board on Wednesday night after a month-long search to fill the position.The 46-year-old former Texan and skier was serving as the vice principal of Stanley Middle School in University City, Calif., where he says he targeted programming for second language learners, oversaw the counseling, math and science departments and dealt with major salary negotiations at the district level. (Truckee High) is a high-performance school and it doesnt need to be tweaked that much, Cunningham said, adding that he would like to see more community resources for high-school aged teens and will be keeping his eye out for issues surrounding drug and alcohol use.As a teacher who spent his summers white water raft guiding on the Truckee and American rivers, Cunningham said he is well aware of the availability of drugs and alcohol in the community. Through the counseling office Im going to make sure that our kids have all the resources possible available to them, and when we have dances and night activities I will be aware of that influence, he said.But Cunningham said he admits his own youth wasnt picture perfect and that his experiences have impacted the way he educates, prepares and disciplines his students. Cunningham was one of four applicants interviewed for the position by Superintendent Dennis Williams and a dozen-member panel of administrators, parents and students. The interview process included a site visit to Stanley Middle School where Williams met with administrators and parents. Everything that we had anticipated was validated by the site visit, Williams said, nothing that Cunningham was praised at Stanley for his passion, staff support, follow through and integrity. I find him very open and easy to work with, Williams said.Cunninghams entrance into Tahoe Truckee High School follows a July announcement that former principal Mike Finney would be taking a leave of absence. Finney will retire formally in March of 2007.