The following is a column submitted by Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Michelle Hutchins, published here as a letter-to-the-editor:
At the end of this year, as many of you know, my tenure as County Superintendent of
Schools will come to a close. These past four years, which included a life-altering pandemic,
have made me a better leader, a better professional, and a better person. I leave my position
with an immense sense of gratitude to the many individuals and partner agencies who have
been central to carrying out the mission of the Mendocino County Office of Education
First, I would like to recognize the staff of the county office, who together, working arm in
arm, embraced change, and a new vision for students across the county. They are among
the most dedicated and extraordinary people I have known, and I am so grateful to them.
MCOE is a team that knows and embodies our values of Service, Excellence, Innovation, and
Teamwork – as we carry out our work every day.
I am proud of the new coastal center and the staff supporting our coastal school district
partners. We changed the way in which we do our professional development. Prior to the
pandemic, we had begun to explore new ways to deliver training. We are pleased with the
progress made at supporting our employees in their professional development and
learning, which ultimately impacts the quality of service we provide to our students and
Over the last four years, it is important to note that we hired many fantastic employees.
When it comes to innovation, our team implemented many new initiatives that positively
impact students all over the county. Between how we teach and how we approach student
learning as mentors and as staff developers, we’ve brought Innovation to the classroom in
Mendocino County. We have the first-ever educational technology leadership Consortium
that Mendocino County has ever seen.
Lastly, I want to commend the MCOE team for their commitment to teamwork and a
continuous improvement mindset. All our departments are now aligned with the California
system of support. Together we created a map of how to continue to move MCOE forward.
And once again, thank you to all those individuals who make the MCOE the amazing
organization that it is.
The work of a county office of education is complex, and multi-layered, and involves many
external agencies to deliver critical services and support to our students. I would like to
thank our local public health agency, the law enforcement agencies that serve our county,
and countless nonprofits that support our students and families every day. Your work is
vital to the health, safety, and well-being of our entire community. Thank you for being
trusted partners that we can count on.
As I begin a new chapter in my career, I leave knowing that the work we have accomplished
together will carry on. I look forward to being your partner in our joint mission to serve the
students and families of Mendocino County.
It has been a pleasure to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools.