Foothill Leadership Academy Approved by Tuolumne County Board of Education

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September 20, 2013 Congratulations to the Foothill Leadership Academy (FLA) and co-founders Ian and Emily McVey. The FLA petition was denied by the Soulsbyville School District this past summer, and the co-founders appealed to the Tuolumne County Office of Education asking for approval on their proposal to introduce an innovative leadership and arts-integration educational choice for students and families in Sonora and the surrounding area.

On September 18, parents, teachers and community leaders filled the Tuolumne County Office of Education board room to offer their passionate and inspiring support of FLA's charter petition, and in opposition to the county staff recommendation to deny the charter petition. CCSA's Regional Director for the Central Valley, Jeff Sands along with Michele Lopez from Young, Minney, and Corr (YM&C) and Nick Driver from the Charter Schools Management Corporation (CSMC) spoke in support of the petition, countering the staff findings.

During the three and a half hour long discussion, County board members made frequent references to the integrity and commitment of the founders, expressing confidence in their educational program and at one point one board member--a retired math teacher--offered ideas for exciting ways to incorporate math and art.

The meeting concluded with a final vote of 5 to 1 in favor of the FLA, and a very excited room full of community supporters; and the new school leaders were already hard at work the next morning preparing the school for its opening in 2014. We once again congratulate Foothill Leadership Academy!