Dr. Marcy Guthrie has fond memories of her teachers growing up, but she credits her first-grade teacher for “figuring” her out and setting her on the right path during her early education.
Chawanakee Unified School District’s new superintendent understands the power of education and the importance of teachers who have a positive impact on their students. This veteran educator and Central Valley native knows the secret sauce to a good education.
“Teaching is like a recipe – it’s equal parts relationships, rigor, and relevancy,” Dr. Guthrie says.
And that’s exactly what drew her to Chawanakee Unified School District – an award-winning school district that defines relationships, rigor and relevancy as their guiding principles.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Guthrie to our community – she has great energy and a strong vision,” said Karen McCaffrey, vice president of Tesoro Viejo, at a recent welcome reception held at Tesoro Viejo. “We know she will serve the students and families at Tesoro Viejo well.”
Dr. Guthrie is the oldest of five girls and her activities always focused on youth whether it was babysitting or serving as a camp counselor. She majored in child development and naturally gravitated toward education even though she was “in denial,” she says laughing.
It was her first teaching job at Kerman Middle School that really set the tone for her career in education. She commuted everyday with the principal and a teacher colleague – the conversations in the car really help cement the importance of collaboration and innovation.
“I hit the ground running,” she says. “It was all about collaboration, innovation, and doing things different,” she says.
She saw first-hand the power of continuous improvement and the concept of “building it; not buying it” – a concept she has carried throughout her career.
Dr. Guthrie has extensive educational leadership experience. She began her administrative career as principal of George Washington Elementary School in Hanford Elementary School District and principal of Fort Washington Elementary School in Clovis Unified School District.
Most recently, Dr. Guthrie served as the superintendent of Mother Lode Union School District for eight years prior to joining Chawanakee Unified. Prior to that, she served as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Kings Canyon Joint Unified School District.
She is passionate about student success and committed to providing the highest quality educational program for students. She was drawn to Chawanakee Unified School District because of the balance between innovation and staying true to its guiding principles.
Geographically, Chawanakee Unified School District is the third largest school district in California. With the planned growth in Madera County, Chawanakee Unified will continue to add more students.
The district opened Hillside Elementary School, located in Tesoro Viejo, in 2018 and plans for a new K-12 educational complex within Tesoro Viejo are under way. Dr. Guthrie points to the growth as an opportunity and a challenge – and she’s up for the challenge which she recognizes creates opportunity.
Dr. Guthrie talks about the significant lessons she learned from other school leaders during her career. One that stands out is a colleague who said that he wanted to make the school a place where students and families wanted to be even on the weekends.
“School should be a place where students want to be and where they learn the love of learning,” she says. “We are only successful when our students succeed.”