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Superintendent: Search narrowed to three finalists

The search for the next superintendent for the Estacada School District has been narrowed from a pool of 25 applicants to three finalists.

Sean D. Gallagher, Scott L. Reed and Marla M. Stephenson were the top candidates selected by the school board and a screening committee composed of district staff and community members.

The new superintendent will take over from retiring Superintendent Howard Fetz on July 1.

After a morning filled with tours and meetings, the three finalists answered questions from the publice during a meet-and-greet in the Estacada Junior High School Library on Monday, April 7.

by: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Sean D. Gallagher

Sean D. Gallagher

For the last seven years, Gallagher has been superintendent of Lake County School District in Lakeview, Ore., a small district with just more than 700 K-12 students.

“This is the only position I’ve applied for,” Gallagher said of Estacada. “I’m impressed. I’m impressed with the people. I’m impressed with the students.”

Gallagher said he first became interested in Estacada when he was principal of Madras High School, a position he filled for three years.

Gallagher’s resume also includes a four year stint as Hermiston High School principal, 10 years as a math teacher at Hermiston and Stanfield High School, and a math and computer teaching position at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton.

He has a master’s degree in math education from Oregon State University and a bachelor’s degree in math education from Western Oregon University.

by: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Scott L. Reed

Scott L. Reed

Reed works as the alternative education and school improvement administrator for Lincoln County School District in Newport.

Reed emphasized the importance of connectivity between students, staff and community members during his meet-and-greet conversation.

He said part of the reason he was drawn to Estacada was the opportunity to draw people together to create “something bigger than all of us.”

When asked to articulate his vision for a long-term plan for the district, Reed replied, “The vision has to come not only from me listening, but you guys having input.”

Reed’s educational experience includes five years as principal of Taft High School. Before that, he spent a year as a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) trainer at Linn Benton Lincoln Educational Service District and four years as the assistant principal for the Central Linn School District’s middle and high school. Reed earned a master of teacher education from Eastern Oregon University.

by: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Marla M. Stephenson

Marla M. Stephenson

Stephenson said being in Estacada would give her an opportunity to be close to family and to “start again with a district that has so much going for it.”

“This is an undiscovered treasure,” Stephenson said. “That’s what I think Estacada is.”

Stephenson has served as superintendent of the Albany Unified School District in Albany, Calif., for the last six years. There are 3,880 students enrolled in that district.

She also is the president of the Alameda County Superintendent Council.

Stephenson has also been assistant superintendent, a middle school principal and spent four years as an elementary school principal in the St. Helena Unified School District in St. Helena, Calif. and has teaching experience spanning a decade througout the Bay Area.

Stephenson also brings business experience to the table, as she was the vice president of American Hot Coffee Company in San Fransisco for seven years.

Stephenson earned a master’s degree in education leadership from St. Mary’s College, a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction from Chapman University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University Long Beach.

Where to from here?

The school board conducted private interviews with the candidates on April 7.

Though the next steps in the superintendent selection process have yet to be announced, the board plans to release information on the matter soon.




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