Friday, 14 June 2024

Geck won't seek reelection as county superintendent in 2010


LAKE COUNTY – Lake County's superintendent of schools said Friday he won't seek reelection when his term is up next year.

“After much deliberation and discussion with my family and with my best friend and wife of over 40 years I have decided that after my term ends next year I will retire to spend more time with my family especially, my grandchildren. Time passes much too quickly and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to be a part of their lives,” said Dave Geck in a statement released to Lake County News

Geck, 61, currently is in his first term as superintendent of the Lake County Office of Education, which has a $16 million annual budget and 120 employees. His current annual salary is $122,000.

He took office in 2006 after Dr. Bill Cornelison announced he would retire. After Geck won in the June primary, Cornelison stepped down in September so Geck could assume office early.

Geck  said he's excited about his final year as county superintendent, and will look forward to working closely with Lake County Office of Education staff and the county's schools and districts “as we continue to make the support of student learning our top priority.”

He said he's proud of the strong relationships his office has built with the county's school districts in an effort to improve the lives of students and their families, and noted it has been a privilege to serve the county.

In turn, fellow superintendents around the county – including Lakeport Unified’s Erin Hagberg, Bill MacDougall of Konocti Unified, Korby Olson of Middletown Unified and Dave McQueen at Kelseyville Unified – credited Geck’s efforts to support districts and provide much-needed services.

“As a county superintendent, Dave’s focus has been to support all Lake County school districts and their students,” said MacDougall. “The grant-funded services such as Healthy Start, Safe Schools, preschool and the after school programs provided by LCOE, under Mr. Geck’s leadership, have had a very positive impact on the lives of the children in this county.  It is an honor and pleasure to work with Dave.”

Geck told fellow superintendents about his decision at a Monday meeting, but asked them not to say anything until he was able to tell his staff and board, according to Olson.

Olson said he wasn’t surprised that Geck – who is at retirement age – isn’t seeking reelection, noting that a four-year term is a big commitment.

Geck’s career in education has spanned 34 years, the last 30 of which have been spent in Lake County.

During that time he has served in a number of capacities – as a high school counselor, principal, program director and assistant superintendent under Cornelison before seeking election to the county superintendent seat.

MacDougall, formerly the principal of Carle Continuation High School in Lower Lake, called Geck “a a visionary leader and a superb educator.“

Geck preceded MacDougall as principal at Carle, which Geck led to model school recognition. According to MacDougall, Geck “provided me with everything I needed to be successful when I took over as principal.”

Over the last two years, Geck's administration has faced scrutiny from the Lake County Grand Jury on a variety of issues, including treatment of employees, handling of finances and student-related matters.

In the most recent report issued this past summer, the grand jury faulted his handling of former administrator Allison Hillix's application to participate in a credentialing program for which she was not eligible.

In that case, Geck admitted he signed a form which he didn't check the accuracy of beforehand, and said new controls have been put in place to prevent such problems again.

In October, former Lake County superintendent of schools Judy Luchsinger – who served 16 years in the office before Cornelison defeated her in a reelection bid – announced that she would run for the office next year.

None of the other superintendents Lake County News contacted Friday were planning to run for Geck’s office.

Geck said the Lake County Office of Education has faced “unprecedented challenges” in dealing with the state's severe budget reductions over the past two years.

In spite of that, he said his office was able to expand direct support to districts and students. They added a career pathway in health sciences and increased the number of students accepted to colleges and universities through the College Going Initiative.

Olson said he appreciated  the flexible way in which the Lake County Office of Education has worked with the county’s school districts. He said Geck and his staff have worked to meet the unique needs of the districts, and have offered “outstanding” curriculum and instructional support.

Geck thanked his staff for never losing sight of the office of education's mission to support schools and communities with “planning, coordinating, facilitating and delivering exemplary services and educational programs.”

In his capacity as superintendent, Geck currently serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the Lake County Special Education Local Planning Area Governing Council and the Lake County First 5 Commission. He's the North Coast Representative to the California County Superintendents Educational Association Board of Directors, is a member of the State Pre-K Task Force, is a member of the Lake One Stop Inc. Board of Directors, is on the Board of the Friends of the Lake County Museum and is a member of the Mendocino College Foundation Board of Directors.

“It has been humbling to see day in, day out people saying yes to going above and beyond what is expected,” he said. “That is what I will miss most when I leave office next year. I will miss working with the people in our programs and with the people in our schools that make supporting students their top priority.”

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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