Colusa County Superintendent of Schools Michael P. West announced the January 3, appointment of Lorilee Niesen to the Colusa County Office of Education (CCOE) staff. In her new capacity at CCOE as the Director of Educational Services, Niesen will also serve as the principal of the S. William Abel Community School and she will oversee the Adult Education program within CCOE.
In a recent statement, Maria Arvizu-Espinoza, CCOE’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, said that “During her twenty-eight years in education, Lorilee has gained extensive experience in Career Technical Education (CTE), while working with teachers and programs to develop and align their curriculum to standards,” adding that Niesen has “participated in several Project Based Learning professional development opportunities for teachers.” In addition, Arvizu-Espinoza said that Niesen served on multiple curriculum committees for the State of California, trained as a facilitator for University of California Curriculum Integration (UCCI), and completed the California Department of Education Leadership Development Institute for CTE leaders in California. Arvizu-Espinoza was pleased to note that while serving twenty-four years in the classroom, as well as her time spent as a coordinator, the one constant in both Lorilee’s belief and guiding principle has been “doing what’s right for kids.”
Most recently, Niesen served for three years as the Capital Region Academies for the Next Economy (CRANE) Coordinator for Sacramento County Office of Education, where she oversaw pathway development, provided professional development for teachers, developed curriculum and work based learning integration, and she developed programs of study to create high quality CTE programs. Michael West explained that the CRANE program is part of a state program designed to help students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and careers. “The CRANE program’s objective is to transform students into a premier technological and entrepreneurial workforce for the next economy,” West said, “and I believe that Lorilee brings that same focus to Colusa County programs.”
Prior to Lorilee’s role in Sacramento, she was the agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Maxwell Unified School District for over thirteen years. “That, coupled with her previous teaching experience,” West said, “means that Lorilee brings almost twenty-five years teaching experience to Colusa County.”
Niesen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Agriculture Business Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and she earned her Single Subject (Agriculture) and Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials through California State University, Chico.
“We are delighted to welcome Lorilee to our CCOE Management team,” said Superintendent West, “our CCOE staff and I look forward to working with her as she steps in to enhance Educational Services and develop our Career Technical and Adult Education programs.”
West went on to say, “Lorilee’s positive, innovative, and dynamic nature, and her history of being a lifelong Colusa County resident, will allow her to concentrate on and expand top-quality curriculum and instruction within our county.”■