recommended applicant for the Madras High athletic director/assistant principal position was rejected by the 509-J School District on Monday.
Superintendent Guy Fisher recommended hiring Allen Boyle, currently the principal at Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School in Rockaway Beach.
Boyle was one of two finalists interviewed by Fisher after a recommendation by a selection committee from among four people it interviewed. The process started out with 17 applicants to replace Margaret Sturza, who is retiring this school year after 16 years as the Madras AD.
Being a half-time assistant principal is not part of Sturza's duties. She does teach two classes (physical education and leadership).
"It's up to the board to decide what the next step is," said Fisher Tuesday morning. "I wouldn't call the board's decision a surprise. It's something the board did after weighing strong feelings."
Board member Lyle Rehwinkel said Tuesday morning the board needs to have "more discussion" to decide what direction to take.
"I'm not sure if we're starting over," Rehwinkel said. "We have to talk about the pros and cons, including whether to combine the AD and AP (assistant principal) positions."
Rehwinkel added he's heard from plenty of people about the AD position.
"I've heard from a lot of people who want a local person (as AD). That's understandable," Rehwinkel said.
On Monday night, the board went into an extended executive session to discuss the matter and then came back into open session for a vote.
Board member Julie Quaid made a motion not to approve the hiring of Boyle, who had been recommended by the superintendent for the AD/assistant principal position.
After the vote, board chair Steve Earnest added, "The board has decided to reconsider the positions of assistant principal and AD at the high school," indicating there would be further discussion at the next board meeting.
Teachers and citizens packing the room spoke before the board's decision. They showed support for Evan Brown, the Madras boys' basketball coach for 15 years.
Brown applied for the position but did not move past the initial screening process. He did not have administrative credentials for the assistant principal position, but is in the two-year process of obtaining an administrative certificate.
Retired teacher Bobbie Fortson brought up many of the rumors surrounding the selection of the AD.
"There's a rumor that the candidate is a Boyle, related to Melinda Boyle (the 509-J personnel director), which sounds a little bit like nepotism," she said.
Allen Boyle is the cousin of Dean Boyle, the husband of Melinda Boyle. Allen Boyle is currently the principal at Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School. The spurned AD candidate was the assistant principal at Neah-Kah-Nie High the previous two years.
Before that, Boyle was the athletic director and dean of students at Santiam High in Mill City for 10 years. Boyle also served as the head track coach for nine years, an assistant football coach for six years and as a basketball coach.
Fortson also asked "why select an unknown person when a known person is right here in this district? Evan may not yet have (an administrator's) certificate, but he has experience and has contacts around the state."
Tom Norton Jr. also supported Brown, saying, "I'm really disappointed we're looking somewhere else, when you have a proven leader right here. I haven't heard one negative about him from the community. I don't know how that many people could be wrong."
P.E. teacher Dave Jordan asked, "Why is the decision of who to hire as the AD being taken out of the principal's hands?"
With another view, Shirley Utter, who works in the administrative office, told the crowd and board, "We're an equal opportunity employer and we've followed all the rules required. There were 17 candidates and the recommended candidate is well qualified. It was done very well, very precisely."