The Scappoose School District board of directors has taken its first steps toward filling a vacancy in the district's top position by appointing an interim superintendent and hiring a firm to search for a full-time superintendent for the 2018-19 school year.
During a special meeting Wednesday, July 26, the school board voted 6 to 0 to appoint acting Superintendent Ron Alley to an interim superintendent role. Additionally, the board voted 6 to 0 to approve a contract with NextUp Leadership to conduct search efforts for the district's new full-time, permanent superintendent.
Alley was appointed as the acting superintendent in June when former Superintendent Stephen Jupe resigned. The title change gives Alley a more clearly defined timeline to be in that position, Board Chair Phil Lager explained.
In addition to the interim superintendent role, Alley still holds the title of director of curriculum, instruction, assessment and secondary education, a position Jupe appointed him to in November. Lager said the board will consider ways to support Alley in his expanded roles. The board has not yet discussed details about a salary increase for Alley, and held no discussion during his appointment to the interim superintendent role.
During Wednesday's meeting, the school board was also presented with two proposals — one from NextUp Leadership, a private West Linn-based education consulting firm registered with the state as Window To Leadership LLC, and one from the Oregon School Board Association — to conduct the district's search for a new full-time superintendent.
Both agencies recommended hiring an interim superintendent and then diving into the hiring process for a regular superintendent over the winter months.
Greg McKenzie and Mike Taylor, consultants with NextUp Leadership, pitched their search services to the board as an option that included a high level of contact with potential superintendent candidates.
Steve Kelley, a consultant with OSBA, pitched his services to the district as being high-quality and focused on the district's needs.
After a brief discussion, the board opted to select McKenzie and NextUp Leadership based on experience. McKenzie, who formerly worked with OSBA, has been conducting executive officer searches since 2008 and annually assists with 20 to 25 superintendent searches, according to his proposal to the board.
Additionally, several board members favored services McKenzie offered, such as a superintendent mentorship program that would take place after hiring.
Services with NextUp Leadership will cost the district $8,750, plus expenses for copies and mileage reimbursement. Consultations with OSBA would have cost the district $8,250, plus expenses.
The search for a superintendent would likely begin in January or later, McKenzie said, and numerous community input sessions are expected to gather input prior to hiring.