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Nestucca Valley's superintendent search under way

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Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011 10:40 am

CLOVERDALE - The board of the Nestucca Valley School District voted unanimously to adopt a search calendar and the qualities and qualifications list they had created after meeting with Donna Herren, executive search consultant with the Oregon School Boards Association, on Feb. 15.

The board previously decided to use the OSBA for the district's superintendent search after a 4-3 vote during the district's Feb. 7 meeting.

During the board's special meeting on Feb. 15, Herren walked the members through the process of conducting a search for a new superintendent, including setting dates for selecting a screening committee, conducting interviews and doing site visits.

Herren discussed the process for dealing with any possible internal candidates, saying that the board could decide to automatically grant an interview to an internal candidate, although she recommended dealing with such candidates as they would any other applicant.

"That way they know they've risen to the top and they weren't just put there," she said.

The board decided to automatically grant an interview to any internal candidate.

No decision was made about a salary range, although Herren asked the board to think about it for a future discussion. The average superintendent salary for a district of Nestucca Valley's size is $102,000, Herren said.

She recommended a range of $105,000 to $115,000, she said, and cautioned the board against going lower than $100,000.

When it came time to discuss qualities and qualifications for the new superintendent, several members of the audience spoke.

Many thought that current high school principal Randy Wharton was the obvious choice to fill the roll and they were disappointed the board had decided to use OSBA to conduct a search.

"We've made some great strides and I think we're going to lose that momentum if we go with someone from the outside," said Cara Elder.

Tori Kirkpatrick said the staff would support a part time superintendent to save the district money.

As a community member, teacher and parent, she cautioned the board that if they chose to hire a full time superintendent they would have a lot of explaining to do.

By the end of the meeting, the board had created and adopted an extensive list of qualities and qualifications, including someone who treats all board members, staff, community members and patrons with dignity and respect, someone who has thoughtful and inclusive problem solving skills and someone who desires long-term involvement in the community and district.

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