Students returning to Tidioute Community Charter School last week were greeted by more than a new school year.
It was also the beginning of a new era with Dr. Doug Allen, chief educational officer, at the helm. He takes over for David Craig, who is no longer with the school.
In Allen, the school has a familiar face. From 1978 until 1985, he was a teacher there and said he loved the school.
Allen then became principal at Youngsville High School and then moved on to hold the same position at Jefferson and Scandia elementary schools. He became coordinator of staff development for the Warren County School District and then superintendent at Fairview and Jamestown, Pa.
Allen's hometown is Warren and he graduated from Warren Area High School in 1974. When his work allowed, he said, he enjoyed coming back to visit and to hunt and fish in the surrounding area.
Since becoming Tidioute's CEO, Allen said he has found the school to be well-run. In the future, Allen said, he wants to continue the good work he sees being done with the curriculum and to use best practices for each subject matter.
"I encourage all parents to be part of the school," Allen said Tuesday. "Many already are, and more could be."
According to Allen, it is his responsibility to work with the board of trustees, which represents the community. He thinks they're doing an excellent job and looks forward to working with them to continue renewing the school's charter for years into the future.
Right now, enrollment is just under 300. In the charter, Allen noted, that number is the maximum capacity and the school is also healthy financially.
Dr. John Linden, who has been working as interim CEO since June, will stay on as a consultant through the fall. Students at the school have made adequate yearly progress and Linden credits them with working hard and the teachers also for helping them reach the targets.
For each of the charter's seven years, Allen said, the school has met all requirements under No Child Left Behind.
Members of the Tidioute community like the school, Allen said, because of where they live. Otherwise, he said, students would have long bus rides.
"It's been fun meeting with the people I've known over the years," Allen said. "Anybody is welcome to come in and see us."