PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APPOINTMENT OF GARY STORTS AS ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT
OF EDUCATIONAL SERVICES AND SHARING OF SERVICES
BETWEEN SOUTH BAY USD AND EUREKA CITY SCHOOLS
EUREKA, CA – November 10, 2021 –
Eureka City Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Gary Storts to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at Eureka City Schools (ECS). Mr. Storts will be replacing Mr. Michael Davies-Hughes, who was recently appointed as the Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Storts was raised in Humboldt County and attended local schools, including Humboldt State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, an Administrative Credential, and his Master’s Degree. Mr. Storts has been the Superintendent of South Bay Union School District (SBUSD) for the last seven years. Before becoming the Superintendent, he also served as a Principal, Assistant Principal, and teacher, in addition to various classified positions.
Mr. Storts is passionate about creating proactive/preventative support structures to benefit the whole child. In addition, he is committed to providing students and staff with the supports they need, when they need them, and believes effective collaboration ensures all students have the opportunity to thrive. Mr. Storts said, “I am excited to take my passion for student learning and apply it in a new position having an impact on the learning of over 4,000 students. I look forward to joining the team in Eureka City Schools.”
This announcement is two-fold; Mr. Storts's appointment is not of a traditional nature, and with the appointment comes the sharing of services between ECS and SBUSD. ECS serves just over 3,600 students ranging from preschool through adult education. SBUSD serves approximately 500 students, including an independent and dependent charter school.
Mr. Storts and his family have a rich history in SBUSD, and while he is excited to be taking the Assistant Superintendent position in ECS, he has a strong desire to keep the momentum of positive growth for students created by the SBUSD team. Given this, the two districts explored creative and unique ideas to minimize disruption and to continue to build and support staff and students.
On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, the two Districts entered into a Shared Services Agreement. It is worth noting, Dr. Van Vleck also has a rich history with SBUSD, where his mother (Cynthia Van Vleck) served their students for over 40 years as a Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal (at both Pine Hill and South Bay), and Superintendent. Dr. Van Vleck and Mr. Storts both have an incredible interest in making this agreement work.
In the Shared Services Agreement, Mr. Storts will continue to serve the Educational Program for SBUSD, in addition to his new duties in ECS. Dr. Fred Van Vleck, Superintendent of ECS, will serve as the Superintendent for SBUSD, in addition to his current role as the Superintendent of ECS. Superintendent Van Vleck will be working closely with the stakeholders of the SBUSD to maximize the forward momentum everyone has been working so diligently to achieve.
SBUSD will be working closely with ECS in Educational Services and Student Services, including nursing, social-emotional health, and students with disabilities. The Districts will also be exploring sharing services in Business Services and Personnel, including maintenance and operations, transportation, school construction, technology, and food services. It is important to note, no current employees will lose their jobs.
SBUSD Board President Gary Quintrell said, “Our goal in this sharing of services is to continue the great education we already provide in both Districts, but share services to eliminate the need to pay for them twice. We see this as an opportunity to spend more dollars in the classroom, directly supporting student learning rather than a duplication of services.”
ECS Board President Lisa Ollivier notes, “This is a win-win for both Districts. We get another high-quality educational services leader at ECS and South Bay gets a continuum of support from Mr. Storts, along with access to the services from ECS.”
More information will be provided to families and staff on the sharing of services in the coming weeks. ECS and SBUSD look forward to continuing to provide quality programs and services to students within the City of Eureka.
Micalyn Harris, Executive Assistant