Meihack retires after 28 years
Scott Meihack has left the building … or the district after 28 years where he’s been influential to so many.
Meihack started out his career in Churchill County School District as a guidance counselor in 1987 at E. C. Best Elementary School … then it was the junior high school. He’s held a variety of positions in the district such as assistant principal at the high school, assistant superintendent, human resources, his last job as the middle school principal and many more.
Meihack retired because the district bought him out for him to get 30 years. He said if he stayed at the district, a younger administrator would have been furloughed.
Although, Meihack has retired from Churchill County School District, that does not mean he is finished with his journey in life. He worked with Churchill Economic Development Authority for a month, dealing with special projects for the county. One of those projects involved the Food Hub. He applied to education positions in Nevada, Montana and New Mexico and was offered and accepted a position at Jemez Valley High School as principal.
“My heart is in public education, and I believe it will always be in education,” he said. “I’m excited about the new principal position in New Mexico. I’ve spoken with the superintendent on several occasions and feel we’ll get along great because we’re both go getters and have a strong drive.”
Meihack, who has his Masters in Education, said he knew he wanted a career in education ever since he was a child.
“I want to say since I was seven I knew I wanted to teach and be involved in education,” he said. “It was my career choice that I’ve never really waivered from while growing up.”
Meihack said because of his vast experience in the district, he can’t say he has one favorite position or school; however, he did say there was one trend he noticed that followed him — school improvement.
“There was a theme at the schools that I came from: The schools performed better academically while I was there,” he said. “I’m a competitive person by nature, and I know there was never an official competition to begin with. I just always tried to have the schools better than when I first arrived.”
He is proud of having children perform at a higher level than the other schools, Meihack said. He said every school has a special meaning when he looks back over the years.
During Meihack’s interview, he tended to use the word “we” when referring to the accomplishments made at the schools at which he worked.
“My father used to tell me that if you have to use the word ‘I’ then you’re not as good as you think,” he said. “And he’s right. There is always a group of people involved in any kind of situation. Success is always linked to more than one person.”
Meihack said over the years he’s dedicated 55-hour workweeks to the district and took on multiple jobs to ensure the success of the students and schools he worked for. The State Superintendent Association awarded Meihack with the Assistant Superintendent of the Year in 2008-2009. He said that award recognized all of the hard work he put into the district.
Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon said Meihack was a versatile individual. She said he’s left a positive impression in every position he’s been in.
“He’s had to make some hard decisions while working for the district,” Sheldon said. “It’s hard to find a person with all of the knowledge and experience that he has. He’s provided so much to the school and students, he will be missed.”
With so many years with the district under his belt, Meihack has seen drastic change. He said he’s seen a lot of positive change throughout the years, especially with academics and bullying.
One of the biggest changes he has seen involves technology and the learning aids that the students are able to use. Although a lot has come and gone technology wise, he said Accelerator Reader and Math has lasted the test of time.
“We started using that program in 1997 or 1998 and to this day still use it,” he said. “Sometimes it’s just best to stick with what you know work. I remember when we use to use note pads to leave messages for teachers, now we use computers for everything.”
Meihack said the Review 360 Program and Olweus Bullying Prevention Program have done wonders for the schools. Olweus is a research-based program that reduces bullying in schools and has been implemented into the schools for several years. He said it also helps to make schools a safer, more positive place where students can learn. The program also emphasized the importance of having parents involved at home.
He said the Co-Teaching model that Numa Elementary School used was acknowledged by the state.
“We have brought in cutting edge programs and methods to go along with academics in our district.”
CEDA Director Rachel Dahl said she’s known Meihack for many years and has always appreciated the hard work he’s put into the district and now CEDA. She said it’s amazing what he can pull off when he puts his mind to something.
“Scott has done a lot of good for the district,” Dahl said. “He’s one of those guys who’s good at everything. If you look at where he’s been you will see how successful he’s been at turning around schools and students.”
Meihack said his wife of 26 years, Coleen, will stay in Churchill County and continue working at the district as a fourth-grade teacher. He said they will both commute until they’re able to live in the same state again.
Meihack has two daughters, Monica, who lives with her son Brentyn in Albuquerque, which is 40 miles away from his new position, and Aylssa, who lives in Reno.
“I’m excited for this new journey in my life,” he said. “I couldn’t have dedicated the past 28 years to the district without the support of my family. I know it was never easy on my wife or my children and I know they sacrificed a lot for me and I’ve very appreciate of that … I couldn’t do what I do without them.”