Klamath County School Board Names Superintendent Selection Committee

Klamath County School Dist.jpg

19 citizen members and five board members

Board Chairman John Rademacher named the members of the Klamath County School District superintendent selection committee, identifying 19 citizens to add to the five-member school board.

“This group, to me, really is an outstanding representation from our district,” said Rademacher. “And the task they will be asked to do, find a new superintendent, is monumental as well.”

Superintendent Greg Thede is retiring at the end of this school year, finishing a 42-year career in education. He announced his retirement last September. The board is currently accepting applications, will conduct interviews in March and name a final selection in April. The new superintendent will begin work July 1. (A full schedule of the process is available on the Superintendent Search webpage on the KCSD website, www.kcsd.k12.or.us.)

Rademacher announced the selection committee list at the Jan. 11 school board meeting, and the other four board members  approved the appointments. The selection committee will help review resumes and evaluate applicants based on the qualities and qualifications the board developed from public input in November and December.

Rademacher noted the 19 citizen members numbered higher than the 15 the board had discussed previously. He increased the number of district office representatives from two to four, and the number of teachers from two to six. Rademacher said it was important to reflect three areas from the district office (financial, academic and athletic) and to include more teachers. “It was mainly because of the quality of the nominations. We have special education, we have vocational/tech, we have a couple academics and a couple elementary,” Rademacher said. “It gives some credibility to what we’re looking for in searching for a superintendent in that we want teacher input.”

The committee includes the five-member school board, and the following:

Community Members

  • Matt Parks – Attorney from Merrill, Lost River High School Graduate. Mr. Parks has two students in the district and his wife works at Malin Elementary.
  • Renee Blakley – Ferguson Elementary area resident who has served on several search committees for the Klamath area, including Oregon Tech, Klamath County Fire District No. 1 and the City of Klamath Falls. Ms. Blakley also has 14 years’ experience working in human resources.
  • Alesha Earnest – STARBASE teacher, Peterson Elementary area resident and school volunteer.
  • Ray Holliday – Owner of Holliday Jewelry, KCSD budget committee member, Klamath Promise steering committee member. Mr. Holliday has children in Henley schools and was a key supporter of the 2013 facilities bond.
  • Kathleen Mitchell – Member of the Klamath Tribal Council and resident in Chiloquin. Ms. Mitchell is very active in community and school events, and has family in the schools.

District Office Members

  • Renèe Ferguson, director of business services – Ms. Ferguson brings great experience in all financial areas, was instrumental in the 2013 bond, and will bring clear perspective of candidates’ business knowledge.
  • Jennifer Hawkins-Utley, elementary curriculum director – Ms. Hawkins-Utley has served the KCSD in many areas, including as a school administrator, and has children in the district.
  • Steve Johnson, athletic director – Mr. Johnson has a vast amount of experience, including as a school administrator. In addition to athletic director, he is also the KCSD safety officer
  • Stephanie LeRoy, assistant to the superintendent, school board secretary – Ms. LeRoy is a graduate of Henley High School, has children who graduated from Henley and are currently attending Henley, and has worked for the district for 23 years.

School Administrators

  • Beth Clark, Stearns Elementary principal – Ms. Clark has taught, worked in curriculum and served as principal. She brings a child-centered and visionary approach to early child learning.
  • Art Ochoa, Bonanza Jr./Sr. High School principal – Mr. Ochoa’s vast history in the district contributes valuable opinions to the committee, and he represents smaller schools in outlying communities.

Classified Staff

  • Jennifer Johnson, Lost River Jr./Sr. High School – Ms. Johnson works as media paraprofessional, ASPIRE coordinator, Aventa, health occupations facilitator and KCC synchronous trainer. She brings experience with scholarships and hiring committees.
  • Crystal Hanseth, KCSD print shop – Ms. Hanseth is the president of Klamath County Association of Classified Employee and is actively involved at budget meetings. She is also a Crystal Apple awardee.

Teachers/Certified Staff

  • Nicole Barney, special education teacher, Chiloquin Elementary – Ms. Barney also coaches at Chiloquin High and assists with individual education plans at Sage Community School.
  • Jeff Sturgeon, metals and math teacher, Mazama High School – Mr. Sturgeon is president of the Klamath County Education Association, a long-time district employee and brings a vocational technology perspective to the committee.
  • Heidii Fettinger, language arts teacher, Gilchrist School – Ms. Fettinger teaches language arts for grades seven to 12, has taught elementary and served as dean of students. She brings an academic perspective to the committee.
  • Ashley West, English language learner teacher, Henley Elementary – Ms. West brings experience in the primary grades as a former first grade teachers and a focus on early childhood education. She is also a Crystal Apple awardee.
  • Jeff Salvati, social studies teacher, Lost River Jr./Sr. High School – Mr. Salvati has roots and family in the Klamath Basin and brings an academic perspective to the committee.
  • Laci Teaters, first grade teacher, Merrill Elementary – Ms. Teaters has experience with Ashlock Reading and served on the Collaboration Grant Compensation Committee. She brings a rural elementary perspective.

Press release from Klamath County School District / Samantha Tipler.