Principal of Hawthorne Elementary Commends Scott Riley for His Work as Assistant Principal of Pahrump Valley High School
February 20, 1998
To Whom It May Concern:
Nye County school days are full of unique challenges. The district has been confronted with lawsuits, increased violence, and the need for curriculum changes to meet the demands of Pahrump's growing and increasingly diverse population.
As a Resource Teacher in the Special Education Department, I found discipline problems with our population difficult at best; conforming to both Nye County policy and Federal mandate. Mr. Riley is sensitive to this responsibility. I have worked closely with him to address each student's needs within these parameters. He is genuinely concerned that the best interest of school and student are served when resolving discipline and attendance questions. Through his guidance, a School Climate Committee was formed that produced a new student handbook on policy and procedures. This committee included faculty, student council members, parent advocates and parents. This superficially simple accomplishment continues in place and has established a cordial dialogue between the school, often perceived as arbitrary in its policies, and the community. Of course, student management difficulties continue and are often “student specific”; however, actions through the Dean’s and Vice-Principal’s office are no longer viewed as dictorial and capricious.
Serving special education students includes multi-disciplinary team meetings and Individual Education Plan meetings. Mr. Riley makes himself available for these as they are needed despite a crowded schedule. His input is essential to an appropriate decision. Often it is his insight that leads the team to a solution that modifies the system to accommodate the needs of each individual case.
Coupled with this leadership is Mr. Riley’s extensive knowledge of present practices in student discipline. This information is based on current research and innovative methods and requires a consistent effort to stay abreast of information as it is published. Consequently, Mr. Riley discharges his duties with authority and prudence.
I have always found him to be open and available for dialogue; one on one with a student question, with teachers and parents. He is always conciliatory even when he is faced with persons who are misinformed, adversarial and prejudicial. The decisions that arise from these meetings are judicious and fair to all concerned.
His assistance with my direct discipline/attendance problems or those which involve my student caseload has helped to clearly define objectives case by case and most importantly increased the effectiveness of applied consequences.
It is the results I see that sustain my conviction that “teachers do make a difference”. Mr. Riley is an integral part of that process. His expertise in effective conflict resolution, effective problem solving, effective implementations of policy and best practice make him an administrator of consequence and valuable colleague.