The Merit System
Established in 1967 for the Humboldt County Office of Education, the merit system is a method of classified personnel administration which is designed to promote the efficiency and economy of the workforce and the good of the public by providing for the selection and retention of employees, promotional opportunities, and other related matters on the basis of merit, fitness, fairness, and equal opportunity.
HCOE Personnel Commission
The Personnel Commission is the mainstay of the merit system. It is a non-partisan independent public body composed of three persons appointed for three year terms. One member is selected by the Board of Education, another member is selected by the classified employee bargaining unit, and the third member is selected by the other two Commissioners. Personnel Commissioners are community lay persons who must be known adherents of the merit principle. The Personnel Commission is responsible for maintaining a merit system for classified employees of the school district and for fostering the advancement of a career service for such employees. To execute these responsibilities, the California State Education Code provides that the Personnel Commissioners shall classify positions, hear appeals of disciplinary and dismissal action, selection and appointment procedures, and to prescribe rules related to a variety of personnel practices. Authority for Personnel Commission functions is provided for in section 45220 through 45320 of the State Education Code. The Personnel Commission maintains active memberships in the California School Personnel Commissioner’s Association (CSPCA), the Northern California Personnel Commissioner’s Association (NCPCA), and the Cooperative Organization for the Development of Employee Selection Procedures (CODESP). Personnel Commission meetings are regularly held on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:15 p.m. in the Alder Room at HCOE’s Louis Bucher Resource Center. Classified employees are encouraged to attend. The agenda for all meetings is printed in advance and posted at the main entrance to the Humboldt County Office of Education and in the Louis D. Bucher Resource Center.
Joe McKinzie Mr. McKinzie, AKA “Big Joe” was appointed to the Personnel Commission by the California School Employees Association (CSEA) Chapter 566 in December of 2018. Mr. McKinzie graduated from Humboldt State University in 2006 with a BA in Geography. In 2007, he began his career in public education working at Humboldt County Court and Community Schools with YouthServe AmeriCorps. During his time with the Humboldt County Court and Community Schools Mr. McKinzie worked as an Academic Mentor at Mattole Valley Charter School and Tsurai High School. Since then he has continued working within the school districts as a custodian and a One-on-One Aide at both Sunny Brae Middle School and Arcata High School. Mr. McKinzie is the current president of the CSEA, Northern Humboldt Chapter 337. And he currently serving as a board member of the Arcata Elementary School District since 2017. It is Mr. McKinzie’s goal to continue to work tirelessly to ensure the quality of all school operations. Will Folger Mr. Folger was selected by his fellow commissioners to serve on the Personnel Commission in January of 2017, to fill the seat as the “community representative”. Will has a background working with the HCOE Court and Community Schools as a YouthServe AmeriCorps member from 2008-2010 where he was stationed at the Probation Environmental Preservation Project (PEPP) Alternative Ed. High School. After his time in AmeriCorps, he continued working with HCOE and Court/Community school students as a crew supervisor with the Youth Conservation Corps, a recruiter with the California Conservation Corps, and as an Employment and Training Worker with Humboldt County Social Services. Will is currently the Director of Human Resources for the City of Eureka, and he feels honored to continue serving local students through his duties as an HCOE Personnel Commissioner. Danette Demello Ms. Demello has been on the Commission since 2014. She is the appointment of the Board of Education. A graduate of Humboldt State University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (emphasis in Management), Danette’s 27+ year career has been in the public sector and all in Humboldt County. She has worked in various capacities for the County of Humboldt, City of Eureka, and City of Arcata. The last 21 years of experience has been in a full range of public sector personnel operations, serving as a Personnel Analyst, Senior Personnel Analyst, Personnel Director, and the last four years as an Assistant City Manager. Danette’s entire public sector career has been and continues to be extremely gratifying, and one she feels fortunate to serve in. Being able to contribute to public sector personnel programs in the capacity of Commissioner is an added bonus! For more information, refer to the Personnel Commission Rules.