A SusanvilleStuff Feature
by Melissa Blosser, Assistant Editor
Robin Pedrett comes to Lassen High School with a team approach to working for the improvement of the school. Although she plans to sit back and observe at first, the wheels have already begun turning in her mind about enhancements for the school’s programs.
“I see great potential,” said Pedrett. “I think the challenge is to build and add to the programs that are already here, especially in career pathways.”
“There is opportunity to develop more relationships with the community colleges and the businesses so the path can really be laid out for students.”
Pedrett was born and raised in Gardernville, and her parents were dairy farmers. She originally set out to be a veterinarian, switched to pre-med, and finally she settled on her second love and ended up as a Physical Education teacher. She played sports at UNR, and advocated heavily for women to have equal playing time while there.
Pedrett worked in Fallon, NV and then went to on to Lake Tahoe, and then to Douglas High School in Nevada. Douglas built a middle school where she taught Physical Education, Health and coached.
The principal left and she became vice and principal for seven and half years. She then went back to Fallon where she was the principal for a year and a half before heading to Pyramid Lake Junior/Senior High School in Nixon, NV to be the principal at a predominantly Native American School.
“Susanville is very similar to where I grew up,” said Pedrett. “We always had some familiarity with Susanville as my husband delivered feed here, and my son sold pigs here so we touched base with the Susanville community quite a bit.”
Fine tuning current programs, and coming up with ways to enhance them, are all part of what Pedrett intends to focus on as the new principal.
“We need to solidify what we have and then start sorting out what we don’t have,” said Pedrett. ” Once we do this we can start to look at adding more classes, AP classes, solidifying partnerships and adding some mentoring,” she said.
She addressed the fact that their might be some areas of missed opportunity with the Charter School and students chosing to leave Lassen High School.
“I would love to get the Charter kids interested in a comprehensive high school and find out why we lost those students and how can we help,” she said. ”I am not pretending a comprehensive high school is for everyone, but I am also asking the question, what is it we didn’t do well enough to lose those kids.”
Pedrett talked up the staff and faculty at the high school and on a county level, praising the fact the community really works together for the students. She also talked about playing a supportive role to the teachers.
“My job is to evaluate teachers and make sure the teachers have what they need so they can be effective,” she said.”The teachers and staff I have met in this building are very student based,”
Pedrett talked about an’ open door’ policy and wants parents to know if she isn’t in her office, she plans to be in a classroom about fifty percent of the time.
After coaching for 23 years Pedrett talked about some of the coaching concepts that she uses to help the teachers, parents and administration work together as a team.
“When you coach you have to figure out what motivates your team,” she said. “It’s my job to help the team and find the individual pieces that are falling out and motivate. I enjoy the problem solving piece. We are the last four years of public education, we really have to become something for everyone, it’s not enough to let a kid quit or drop out.”
Kids feeling included and having access to choices is something Pedrett spoke strongly about, and wants to make sure every student at Lassen High is given a choice.
“Kids need to feel all included and there should never be a kid who is a have not when it comes to choices.” she said. ”If a kid says I don’t care, it wasn’t that they weren’t invited, that is my goal.”
With the state continuing to cut back in education, teacher and administration continue to struggle with doing more with less. When Pedrett was asked what keeps her coming back everyday despite these tough financial constraints she simply answered, “You do the best with what you get and what you have and you continue moving forward.”