Armas to replace Mougeotte as activities director


During a senior class meeting, Mr. Travis Mougeotte talks with students about graduation requirements. Photo from Whitney Update archive

Activities Director Mr. Travis Mougeotte learned he will no longer be in the position after the end of this school year. Mougeotte said he has been involuntarily reassigned and found out at the end of school March 23 in a meeting with Principal Mr. Justin Cutts.

Soon after their meeting the executive board was announced, solidifying the leadership students who will lead the class in appointed and elected positions.

Mougeotte was notified by Cutts that Spanish teacher and golf coach Mr. Jesse Armas will be replacing him for the 2018-2019 school year as activities director.

Mougeotte then broke the news in class April 2 to the 88 students in the leadership class who are most impacted by the decision. Some students were shocked and angry.

“I am beyond disappointed and highly frustrated with the decision to remove Mougeotte. He has truly done so much for the program and school as a whole. Not to mention the fact that there are only two months until the end of the year, leaving no room for a smooth transition whatsoever. It is heartbreaking that his hard work and dedication is being overlooked,” Brynn Blatnick current ASB President said.

Other students question why Mougeotte was replaced by the administration, due to his three to four years of experience working as the activities director, as well as filling the same position at schools in Reno and Antelope. Administrators typically do not share information about personnel decisions as a matter of privacy and confidentiality, but Mougeotte said he was told his vision did not match theirs.

“It’s unfair to the students and the whole campus. I feel like Mr. Armas is a great person but I personally believe that Mougeotte is more qualified for a position like this, considering for the past three or so years he has dedicated himself to the program and Mr. Armas hasn’t,” Ava Jeung, next year’s ASB President, said.

Students who ran for elected and appointed positions for next year’s class said they felt blindsided by the decision.

“I feel like as the president next year, speaking for more than just myself, it’s unfair to all of those who have worked so closely with him and ran for positions that were highly involved and expecting to be able to work with him,” Jeung said.

Seniors who had Mougeotte as their leadership teacher for most of their high school career sympathize with him and his dedication to the program.

“It’s not fair to put Mougeotte out of a position that he has given countless hours of his time, as well as the sacrifices he made from having to dedicate so much time and energy to the program,” Chad Campbell said.

Despite losing his position as activities director for next year, Mougeotte still has plans to finish off this year on a high note and has plans for the future.

“I want to continue to push the bar and try new things and make connections to the students on our campus. I hope that the legacy and hard work that has been put in in the past three years can carry on and Whitney can continue to be a model school for our students and community. For next year I will return to full time teaching social studies and look forward to connecting with students in a different capacity,” Mougeotte said.

Armas has not responded to interview requests yet but will be featured in a follow-up story about his vision and goals for next year as well as whatever transitions will occur as he prepares to serve as activities director.

Other students are interested to see where Armas takes next year’s leadership program, and what it means for the student body outside of leadership students.

“I love Armas and I think he will do his best, because he is a great teacher, and it will be interesting to see how the transition is handled. While I’m not in leadership this year I signed up to be an athletic intern, so I will be able to help with X-Factor, which is rumored to transition back into the leadership classroom,” Kiera Utush said.

None of the four administrators has been available for an interview at this point, but students are discussing the situation on social media.

Due to the transition between teachers, applications to be apart of next year’s leadership will be reopened starting April 9.