Chris Meredith

Chris Meredith stands next to the laser cutter at the Cloverdale High School Maker Space during its opening in 2017. Photo Reveille archives

Meredith will finish out school year at the high school before moving on as the director of human resources for Windsor Unified

Cloverdale High School (CHS) principal Christopher Meredith will be leaving his post at CHS at the end of the school year. Meredith will be starting as the human resources director for the Windsor Unified School District in July.

Meredith was announced as the Windsor district’s new human resources director during a Windsor Unified School District meeting on April 20.

“The community is amazing. The (CHS) staff are truly great educators and great people. We brought in some very talented teachers … I’ve really enjoyed working with the people. That includes the students and the families, the greater community,” Meredith said.

“We will begin the leadership search process immediately,” said Cloverdale Superintendent Betha MacClain. “I will be gathering input from each school community and putting together a committee of stakeholders for each school site to participate in the multi-step hiring process. We hope to fill both positions before the end of the school year and will update each school community when we do.”

Meredith and Jefferson Elementary Principal Susan Yakich (who’s accepted a position as principal of Windsor’s Mattie Washburn Elementary) are joining former Cloverdale Superintendent Jeremy Decker in Windsor; Decker left Cloverdale for Windsor Unified in July 2020.

“The small town, you can’t replicate that,” Meredith said. “If it weren’t for some of my professional and personal goals, I wouldn’t be leaving. I’m moving on to learn, to grow, to put myself in a position to experience things that I wouldn’t be able to experience as a high school principal. You can’t replicate what we have in Cloverdale and it’s really hard to walk away from that.”

“Cloverdale is a great place to be a high school principal, so for me (the move) was about professional and personal growth,” Meredith said, noting that he wants to move up the ranks of school administration, eventually becoming a superintendent, but he’s said he’s in no rush to do so.

Meredith came to Cloverdale in July 2017 after previously serving as the vice principal of Roseland University Prep. He holds two Masters degrees, one in educational leadership and another in human performance and sport. Prior to his work at Roseland, he was the summer school Maker Camp principal for the Santa Rosa City School District in 2015. As a teacher, he taught business and physical education at the high school level. In addition, he served as the academic advisor at Ridgeway High School. He has previously served as an adjunct faculty for the Kinesiology Department at Santa Rosa Junior College.

When asked about what he views as some of the biggest accomplishments that have happened at CHS while he’s been the principal, Meredith emphasized staffing decisions, school culture and the expansion of CHS’ career pathway classes.

“We really rebuilt the high school in terms of staffing. We had a number of retirements early in my time and we’ve hired 13 new teachers,” he said. “Just really helping to rebuild the staff is something I’m proud of, leveraging the veteran teachers on campus to look at what we’ve done well in the past and really where the school needs to grow and move forwarded.”

Meredith also pointed out school growth when it comes to CHS’ career technical education (CTE) classes. He said that the school implemented eight new CTE pathway programs to help give Cloverdale students more opportunities, including developing and outfitting its Maker Space.

“Those are the things I’m really proud of — helping to further move Cloverdale High School into the 21st century and working closely with our key players to do more project-based learning,” he said, specifically calling out projects and programs that have helped link multiple subjects or CTE programs together.

Looking forward, Meredith said that whoever is chosen to take over the reins as principal will have to focus on both ensuring the school’s Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation in the coming year, as well as navigating the unknowns surrounding what the 2021-22 school year will look like.

“It’s a priority to me to help the district find the right person,” he said. “We need somebody that has a vision, we need somebody that can see where the school is now and see where the school can be in five years.”

In the meantime, Meredith said that there’s still work to do to ensure that CHS finishes out the year strong.

“We’re going to see this thing through and we’re going to work together to prepare CHS to move into the future,” he said.

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