Last Updated on July 26, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Former Superintendent Robin Jones has made a nostalgic return to Kit Carson Elementary School, where she fondly remembers her childhood experiences. However, Jones’ return is not solely driven by nostalgia; she has taken on the role of superintendent to ensure that the school receives the care and attention she believes it deserves.
Jones’ decision is part of a larger trend in rural areas like Hanford, where brain drain is a prevalent issue. However, a recent study has found that college graduates who attended rural schools are more likely to return to their hometowns, resulting in a phenomenon known as “brain gain.”
For Jones, her connection to Kit Carson runs deep. Not only does she have familial ties to the school, but she also remembers it as a bustling hub for the community during her childhood. These memories and connections motivate her to work diligently to provide the best education and opportunities for the students at Kit Carson.
Similarly, Superintendent Tom O’Malley has returned to his rural hometown of Alturas, seeking a slower pace of life and a sense of comfort. While O’Malley’s experience as an administrator at Modoc High differs from Jones’, as he grew up in the area and had pre-existing connections with the community, he shares the sentiment of wanting to give back to his hometown.
Living in a rural area does come with sacrifices, but O’Malley believes that the rewards, such as witnessing his students succeed, far outweigh any inconveniences. This belief propels him to continue working tirelessly for the betterment of his community.
Miguel Lomeli, president of the San Lucas Unified School District (SLUSD) board, also left his urban life to return to his rural community. Lomeli chose to work in the agricultural sector and became involved with the school board when his son began attending SLUSD. He believes that firsthand experience of attending SLUSD is essential for his role as board president.
Maribel Velasco, board clerk at SLUSD, has a similar perspective. Having attended the school herself, she values her personal connection to the community and translates that into her work.
Jones, who considers her time at Kit Carson to be the most rewarding job of her career, believes that returning to one’s roots is a fulfilling experience. Her commitment to ensuring that Kit Carson receives the attention it deserves is reflected in her work and serves as an inspiration to those around her.
In conclusion, the return of these educators to their rural hometowns highlights a trend of individuals recognizing the importance of their personal connections and experiences in their career choices. Their dedication to giving back to their communities serves as a powerful example to aspiring professionals in the field of education.