Retired principal Neil Schott got a call on a Sunday night recently, asking if he'd consider coming out of retirement to take the reins temporarily at Reno's Mariposa Academy. The school needed a principal after director George Ullom died unexpectedly. "It was a very urgent situation for the school and I thought I could help out," Schott said. He asked when they'd need him. "They said 'how about tomorrow?'" The next day at 7:30 am he showed up at the school ready to work.
I dropped by on day seven to tour the school and see how Schott's doing in his new, interim position. He seems to have hit the ground running. As we walked around the small campus, students smiled and greeted him by name. Schott, who retired as principal of Hunter Lake Elementary school in 2009, says everyone has been great. "I absolutely love the kids, they're all very welcoming to me, the staff has been very welcoming to me," he said.
Mariposa Academy has 170 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It's Nevada's only dual language charter school, teaching english and spanish. It's a close-knit community and the death of George Ullom hit them hard.
The school is holding it's first annual Legends of Mariposa fundraising event on Thursday, April 21st at 5:30 pm at the UNR Student Union Ballroom. Admission is free, but people are encouraged to bid on silent auction items to help support the school.
"The fundraising we do allows us to do extra things for the school, whether it's technology or extra books for the library," Schott says. There will be wine and appetizers and entertainment provided by some of the students. For more information, contact the Mariposa Academy at (775) 826-4040.