Tahoe Truckee School | News&Notes: Dr. Larry Meek is back
Despite his best intentions for a little rest and relaxation, and fortunately for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD), Dr. Larry Meek simply found retirement too uninteresting. The Grass Valley, Calif. resident recently re-entered the workforce to continue his school administration career by temporarily assisting TTUSDs curriculum and instruction department.Meek, a veteran administrator of Californias educational system, was hired to provide short-term administrative support for TTUSDs state and federal categorically funded programs. Categorical funds are those that are restricted to programs based on categories of students, such as English Language Learners and both high and low performing students. The categorical funds are closely regulated by the federal and state government.Funding for Meeks position is subsidized by restricted state and federal budget sources deemed appropriate by the California Department of Education (CDE). The CDE has approved a portion of some of the state and federal categorical funds to be used for program administration, because they understand that there is a cost to ensuring compliance with the intended goal of the program, explains Meek.The position that Meek fills has been vacant since October of 2008. As a result, Meek is addressing a three to four-month backlog of work required in order for the district to comply with state and federal regulations. TTUSD needs to be compliant with state and federal requirements in order to ensure continued funding in these areas, Meek says. If the district does not comply with the regulations, funds could be withheld or sanctions imposed, he says. The work he is tasked with will help support the districts goal of moving out of Program Improvement (PI), a designation California uses for schools and districts that fail to make specific academic benchmarks for two consecutive years. Currently, TTUSD is in year four as a PI district. Larry has a wealth of experience in district level administration. He has many contacts at the state level and with other districts that have been very successful in their management and instructional delivery systems, comments Steve Jennings, TTUSD superintendent. He has a thorough understanding of the big picture, is sharp, and is really on top of our needs and the mandates, Jennings adds.Previously, Meek worked with the El Dorado Union High School District, overseeing state and federal categorical programs and served as principal of Nevada Union High School in Nevada City. After a brief retirement, he decided to return to the workforce, and most recently served as a district level administrator of curriculum instruction for the Davis School District.What brought him back into the fray? I believed I still had the knowledge and experience which would benefit the right district, Meek explains. Finding the match nearby was a bonus.Meeks desire to help is not limited to his professional life; his private time is often spent supporting humanitarian efforts through his local Rotary Club, in which he is quite active. A particularly fulfilling project, Meek says, was a stint as secondary principal of grades six through 12 at the International School in Kathmandu, Nepal. I worked with kids representing about 40 different nationalities. We had a rather large EL (English-Learner) program, as you can imagine, Meek says. It was life-changing, he says, adding that he has returned to Nepal three times since then to assist with other charitable projects.
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