A science teacher at Cortez Middle School has been tapped as the new principal for Dolores elementary school.
Gary Livick, 45, will be handed the baton from principal Sherri Maxwell, who is retiring this spring.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to guide an amazing school, with amazing staff, students and parents," Livick said of his new job.
Livick lists 14 years experience in education, credentials for multi-subject teaching from Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and a principal's license from Brandman University in Irvine, Calif. His bachelor's degree was in liberal studies with an emphasis in science education from Cal State-Chico.
Providing service leadership to Dolores teachers will be one focus of the job, he said. That includes delivering the training and equipment they need.
"The teachers are experts in their field," he said. "I don't go and tell them how to do their jobs, I ask them what they need to do their jobs better."
Providing kids with computer and Internet technology is only part of the answer, he said. Teaching them how to use that information efficiently and effectively is the real challenge.
"The Holy Grail is to get kids to think critically when they have access to so much information," Livick said. "The new skill for elementary students is being able to sift through all that information and evaluate what is accurate and pertinent to them solving problems."
The format of how students receive information has drastically changed from previous generations.
Teachers, librarians, and textbook publishers used to be the gatekeepers for information, Livick said. But with the Internet, those filters are not there anymore.
"There are a lot of sources for students now - some of it good, some of it bad," Livick said. "Besides focusing on reading, writing, math, and science, we also instruct on the pitfalls of bias, false cause and bandwagon thinking."
Before moving to the Cortez area, Livick taught high school math and reading at Woodlake Union High School in Tulare County, Calif., and at Right of Passage, a charter school in Calaveras County, Calif.
Livick will shadow Maxwell in the next two months to get familiar with principal position.
"She is incredibly well-organized and has done a great job with the school," he said. "I'll have her on speed dial to help with the transition and get her expert advice."
When not teaching, Livick enjoys mountain biking, hiking, skiing and river rafting. He and his wife, Shannon, have two children who attend Dolores Elementary School.