The effort to replace former Nampa School District Superintendent Tom Michaelson, whose proposed spending cuts received tepid support and led to his resignation in May, is gaining traction.
The district announced Wednesday the formation of a 16-person search committee tasked with recruiting the school system's next leader. A news release from the district states the committee was appointed Tuesday by the school board, but it also indicates the group already has held two organizational meetings.
The search committee will be led by Dr. Richard Hagood, former president of Northwest Nazarene University, and Molly Lenty, a vice president and manager of community relations at Wells Fargo. She also is the founder of Community for Nampa Schools.
Michaelson was hired in 2012 to help clean up the district's financial mess, which included a $5.1 million deficit. With a record of restoring financial stability in two California districts before moving to Nampa to retire, Michaelson spearheaded some painful cuts in Nampa. He won approval to close Sunny Ridge Elementary School, pushed to outsource the district's janitorial service, reduced some busing and cut 4.5 administrators.
But he met board resistance with his teacher reduction plan that would have saved $2.5 million. The plan was backed by a committee of residents, community leaders and district officials working to solve Nampa's money woes. Some board members disagreed, and Michaelson offered his resignation during a May school board meeting. The board appointed Pete Koehler, principal at Nampa High School and chief education officer over a cluster of middle, elementary and preschools in the Nampa High area, as interim superintendent.
Now the search for a permanent replacement heats up. The committee meets again Oct. 22. The meetings are open to the public. For a schedule, check the district's website.
I appreciate the committee members' commitment to our district and for involving and engaging the community in this process to identify and select our next superintendent, said Daren Coon, chairman of the Nampa Board of Trustees.
The remainder of the search committee:
Kelly Gibbons, College of Western Idaho Foundation interim director
Dennis Keck, West Middle School music teacher and Nampa Education Association community relations officer
Jacqueline Harrison, Nampa High School bookkeeper
Anne-Marie Henning, Micron Foundation accountant
Greg Heideman, Lone Star Middle School principal
Jaimee Hoesing, Centennial Elementary School kindergarten teacher and Nampa Education Association president
Debbie Kling, Nampa Chamber of Commerce president and CEO
Dr. Brian McGourty, Nampa Board of Trustees and Nampa optometrist
Bob Otten, Nampa Board of Trustees and retired elementary teacher
Kristin Pancheri, family trucking and farming business manager
Gregg Russell, Reagan Elementary School principal
Dr. Al Sanchez, professor at Northwest Nazarene University
Bobby Sanchez, assistant to the Mayor of Nampa
Cory Woolstenhulme, Columbia High School principal