Gemma leaves positive legacy | SierraSun.com

Gemma leaves positive legacy

Sierra Sun editorial

In a town like Truckee, where being a school superintendent is a high-profile juggling act, Pat Gemma has excelled at providing balance, while implementing improvements to our local system.

After nearly five years at the head of a district that stretches from Truckee to North Tahoe, he has left a positive legacy in both curriculum development and finance management. With limited budget flexibility, he restored minimum budget reserves that threatened future local control, he improved the quality of the district’s teaching staff by implementing educational programming and he pushed for construction of a new middle school, even in the face of declining local enrollment.

A strong background in teaching, as well as administration, made Gemma an ally of our local board of trustees. During his tenure, that close relationship paid dividends in the expansion of local educational opportunities for children.

Although Gemma leaves on a high note, the district will continue to wrestle with big problems, most notably state budget cuts that are sure to be part of California’s budget crisis solution; socioeconomic, as well as language barriers that will continue to be a work in progress locally; Prosser Creek Charter School’s attempt to solve its financial problems and teacher contract negotiations.

As the search for a new superintendent is initiated, we need a leader who has a track record in these areas. As for Gemma’s record – He did well by our children.

Good luck Dr. Gemma.