Superintendent candidates visit
The two remaining candidates for 509-J's superintendent position, Jane Westergaard-Nimocks and Richard Molitor, met with the public and other groups on Monday. Candidate Connie Kennedy has accepted another position, it was announced.
The two met separately with a group of around 30 citizens gathered in the Madras High School commons, to talk about themselves and answer questions.
Westergaard-Nimocks, who was the Warm Springs Elementary principal from 1984-89, noted she left because her husband accepted a job coaching at the University of Washington. He has since retired.
"I always said working here was the best job I ever had. I adored this school district," Westergaard-Nimocks told the group.
Her background includes being a human resources, professional development and curriculum director, and doing labor negotiations.
She stressed "building relationships, and open, honest communication."
Westergaard-Nimocks said she plans to stay if hired. "I see myself here until I retire," she said.
Molitor said the Wahluke School District in Mattawa, Wash., where he is an associate superintendent, has 1,850 students and 92 percent of those are Hispanic, 6 percent Caucasian, and 2 percent Native American, so he is used to cultural diversity.
He and his wife are both educators and are looking for a small community where their children, ages 9 and 11, can complete their schooling.
His background includes helping turn around a school district in financial difficulty. "The superintendent was asked to leave and we were facing extreme budget cuts and a community where the trust had left. I worked in the business office and brought things back in two years," Molitor said.
"I have the tools and the background to help fix the situation," he said of the $3.12 million budget cuts 509-J needs to make in the next year or two.
The school board will meet on Wednesday night, March 19, at the support services building in executive session, then open session at 7:30 p.m., to announce the superintendent selection.
(Check The Pioneer's Web site at www.madraspioneer.com Thursday morning for information).