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School Board to interview top choice this week

School Board will hold final interview with top choice Monday


Rob Saxton served as Tigard-Tualatin superintendent from 2005 to 2012. His replacement is expected to be announced next week.And then there was one.

Officials with the Tigard-Tualatin School District announced Tuesday that they have narrowed their search for a new superintendent down to a single candidate. They are expected to reveal their top choice for the next school district leader sometime next week.

District spokeswoman Susan Stark Haydon wouldn’t give any details about the candidate, but said he or she still had to face a final closed-door meeting with the School Board on Monday.

The school district has been searching for a new superintendent since the resignation of Rob Saxton in July, who left to become the new leader of the Oregon Department of Education.

During superintendent searches at other school districts such as West Linn-Wilsonville, public “meet and greet” sessions with the candidates were held before a finalist was named, but Tigard-Tualatin officials have opted to keep the name a secret until the very end.

According to Stark Haydon, the decision to keep the finalist’s name a secret isn’t uncommon and allows candidates to apply for the job without worrying that their home school district will find out.

Whomever the district selects will step into their new role this July.

The new superintendent will come to a district deeply impacted by changes.

Reserve funds, which are credited with keeping the district fiscally afloat during the worst of the economic recession, dry up at the end of this school year, and the district is expecting to cut millions from its budget after the state finalizes its biennial budget for K-12 education.

District officials are planning for a “worst case” scenario of cutting as much as 7 percent from its already cut-to-the-bone budget, Interim Superintendent Roger Rada told the School Board on Monday night.

Recent rumblings in Salem suggest the cuts might not have to be that extreme, Rada said, but the district’s bank accounts remain weakened after the district’s local option levy funds were hit by the down economy — drawing less and less money from taxpayers every year.

It is unknown whether the next superintendent is from the Portland-area. Tigard-Tualatin held a nationwide search for the superintendent, but the district has picked local leaders in the past. Saxton was superintendent of the Sherwood School District before moving to Tigard, and Rada — who is serving until the end of the school year — served as superintendent of the Oregon City School District.




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