School administrators from Wheatland, Yuba City and Marysville were among those honored by the Association of California School Administrators for the Administrators of the Year Awards on March 10.
Out of the 10 counties represented by Region 2 – the Northern California chapter of the association – three administrators from the Yuba-Sutter area were honored with Administrators of the Year awards.
Wheatland Union High School District Superintendent Nicole Newman was honored as Superintendent of the Year, Twin Rivers Charter School Superintendent and Principal Karen Villalobos was awarded Superintendent/Principal of the Year and Jolie Critchfield of the Marysville Joint Unified School District was honored as Central Office Administrator of the Year.
These three administrators were recognized by the Colusa/Sutter/Yuba chapter for their outstanding achievements in education, officials said.
Newman said she was nominated for her role as a student-centered leader and for carrying significant achievements in advocacy, legislation and policy throughout the Wheatland Union HIgh School District.
According to a letter of recommendation written in her favor, Newman is responsible for successfully advocating for more educational and career opportunities for rural students through Career Technical Education programs. She is also committed to fostering academic excellence, social-emotional learning and the physical and mental wellbeing of her students.
"I am deeply humbled and honored to receive this recognition. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire district team, and the unwavering commitment of our students, parents, and community. I am proud to serve as superintendent of this amazing district, and I look forward to continuing our work to ensure that every student receives a world-class education – every day, every child, whatever it takes!” Newman said in an email.
Region 2 officials have also moved her application to the Association of California School Administrators state competition, where she will compete for the title of State Superintendent of the Year, Newman said.
During her time at Twin Rivers Charter School in Yuba City, Villalobos said that the rate of students meeting or exceeding their grade-level standards has increased by over 30% in English and math.
Because the school has documented high student achievement, low suspension rates and successful attendance, Twin Rivers Charter was named within the top 6% of California schools as well as a 2023 Distinguished School. These achievements culminated in Villalobos’s recognition with the Association of California School Administrators, she said.
“Being recognized as Superintendent/Principal of the Year is an incredible honor. It acknowledges the hard work of the Twin Rivers Charter School administrative team, teachers, staff, board of directors and our school community. To be selected this year with Nicole and Jolie in their respective categories speaks to the excellent work educators are doing on behalf of students in the Sutter-Yuba community,“ Villalobos said in an email.