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West Linn-Wilsonville School District receives 32 superintendent applicants

When West Linn-Wilsonville School District Superintendent Bill Rhoades announced his plans to retire at the conclusion of the school year back in February, it left just a little more than four months to find his replacement. Tuesday, May 3 the school board held a special meeting to begin screening applicants for Rhoades' replacement.

Search consultant Greg McKenzie told the 23 members of the assembled screening committee that he was pleased with the number of applicants the district received prior to the deadline April 28.

McKenzie informed the committee the district received 32 applications, ranging from “about 12 to 13 states.”

“The pool of candidates is a good mix of what I call seasoned veterans and rising stars,” McKenzie said. “It is a very good field — a high-quality field. Thirty-two is a very good number of applicants, especially this late in the season. Typically with these searches we get about 20-25, so receiving 32 quality applicants is a good thing.”

McKenzie said the search committee will spend the next week or so screening resumes and applications before selecting a list of about 10 for interviews. To protect the privacy of applicants McKenzie asked the committee to sign confidentiality agreements, and said that only finalists will be made public.

McKenzie stressed with the committee that the initial screening process is intended only to find a group they wish to interview, not to select the next superintendent.

“We’re looking for a group of people to interview,” he said. “We’re not selecting a candidate tonight. I’ve done this a long time and I can tell you that the number one choice after the initial screening is very rarely the person who is hired in the end. You never know until the interview stage how a candidate might fit in your school district.”

The superintendent finalists are expected to be selected in the days prior to a scheduled May 16 work session, and the new superintendent is expected to be announced during the June 6 board meeting. The selected candidate will begin work with the district July 1.