Board hopes to hire Rob Saxton's permanent replacement by March

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Former Oregon City Superintended Roger Rada stepped in as an interim superintended as the Tigard-Tualatin School District searches for a full-time superintendent to replace Rob Saxton.Tigard-Tualatin School Board officials say the district’s new superintendent should be in place by early 2013.

Board Chairwoman Maureen Wolf said the district would begin accepting applications for the position in December and January, and would likely make a decision by March.

Whoever the district picks would start in July, in time for the 2013-14 school year.

The district will conduct a nation-wide search for a new superintendent, after the departure of Rob Saxton this past July.

Saxton was picked by Gov. John Kitzhaber to become the new deputy superintendent of public instruction with the Oregon Department of Education.

The district hired former Oregon City Superintendent Roger Rada as an interim superintendent.

Rada said the district’s timeline would be one of the earliest in the nation, drawing a larger pool of candidates to choose from.

“I think with this timeline we are going to get out early, and we will have the best crop of people available,” Rada said.

That timeline will also allow the new superintendent time to get acclimated to the district before the new school year gets under way next fall.

“I like the idea that we will have a superintendent in place by March,” said board member Jill Zurschmeide. “That gives him a good couple of months to make that transition.”

That’s different from Rada’s hiring last month. The interim superintendent arrived at the district only a few days after being offered the job.

District officials said finding a permanent replacement will be a slower, more in-depth search. Wolf explained that the district would engage in public outreach, with special meetings with the community to discuss what qualifications the district’s new superintendent will need.

Those meetings have yet to be scheduled.

Several staff and teachers attended similar meetings held in July for the interim superintendent, and said the district’s new leader should have the ability to balance the district’s many projects and initiatives and keep the district moving forward.

The district expects to receive applications for its top job from across the country.