Mike Berg, with 32 years experience in education, has been named the interim superintendent for the Yosemite Unified School District. Berg, who will work part-time, was introduced at the district’s board of trustees meeting March 12, at Rivergold Elementary School.
On Feb. 7, the school board placed Superintendent Ceclia Greenberg on paid administrative leave as the deadline for fiscal insolvency was rapidly approaching. She was replaced by Madera County Superintendent of Schools Administrator Fred Cogan, as a temporary YUSD superintendent on special assignment at no cost to YUSD to assist and address the district’s ongoing operations and needs .
Berg will have a transition period with Cogan through the end of the school year before Cogan returns to the county office.
Berg, 56, came out of retirement in 2016 to serve as interim superintendent to help bring stability to Parlier Unified School District after a federal investigation uncovered millions of dollars missing due to years of corruption and mismanagement of funds. Parlier’s school board placed the acting superintendent and assistant superintendent at the time on leave and Berg assumed the position.
At Parlier, in the face of losing students to neighboring schools due to the fiscal scandal, he quickly turned the perception of the district and management around by using transparency and focusing on the continuing accomplishments of educators and students.
Prior to Parlier, Berg served as superintendent for the Central Unified School District for six years and chief business officer for five years before that. He is the recipient of the Dr. Harold Haak Award for fostering relationships between businesses, non-profits and schools to develop opportunity and curriculum with noted achievements in technology, arts, and music.
Before Central Unified, Berg spent 21 years at Fresno Unified, upon his exit he was the acting Chief Business Officer. In Fresno he was the executive director of facilities planning and management in charge of growth, construction and long range planning.
In regards to his latest undertaking Berg said, “I am confident and enthusiastic about working with the board, staff and community to put Yosemite in a strong fiscal position, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to ensure Yosemite remains the great district it is with ample opportunity for students.”
After the meeting, district Board of Trustees President Tammy Loveland said the board is excited to have Berg on board and the experience he brings to YUSD.
“We are looking forward to working with Mr. Berg and to all the positive solutions that lie ahead,” Loveland said.
She also praised Cogan for the work he has done for the district since his arrival in February.
“Fred (Cogan) has done a great job for us in helping us stabilize our financial situation and has been a positive force with our staff,” Loveland said. “We are grateful to him and the Madera County Office of Education for loaning him to us. Thy have truly been a team partner in all of this.”
Recently Cogan announced, in light of the immediate need for budgets cuts, a fiscal plan has been developed where no programs (academics, arts and athletics) will be cut.