North Coast school board trustees addressed a vacancy in their midst Feb. 21 by opting for a new board member with extensive teaching background and many years of countywide substitute teaching and local coaching.
Jack Mettier was unanimously appointed, then sworn in and seated that night to fill the vacancy created Jan. 1 when longtime Coast Unified School District trustee Del Clegg resigned.
Mettier said in his application that he had been in school nearly his entire life, as a student, teacher, college instructor, administrator and substitute teacher.
“I’ve been an educator for more than 32 years,” he told the board during his presentation. Although he retired, “I didn’t like retirement,” feeling he was “missing a necessary component of life. It’s my life calling to be an educator.”
He said that, although CUSD has “amazing schools, the teachers are very fine people and the administrators as well,” the district needs to do a better job of communicating with its students, parents and the community.
He said the small schools are a crucial benefit, and factored into his freshman son’s decision to attend Coast Union High School, rather than transfer with some of his friends to the larger Morro Bay High School or Mission Prep.
Mettier’s substitute-taught in the district, throughout the county (including at juvenile hall) and elsewhere, and he’s coached youth soccer, basketball and baseball and been a soccer referee through the Cambria Youth Athletic Association.
He won’t continue to hold those positions in the district while he’s on the board, Mettier confirmed at the meeting. Doing so would be considered a conflict.
Other applicants who spoke at the meeting included John Seed, Mark Ober and Rick Bruce. Another applicant, Steve Kniffen, couldn’t attend, and a previous applicant withdrew from the process on Feb. 18.
As Superintendent Scott Smith said to his board before the discussion and vote, “Wow! What great candidates. I don’t envy you” having to make such a difficult decision between such experienced, talented applicants.