Nampa School District names new superintendent

March 7, 2014 

David Peterson, a candidate for Nampa School District superintendent, talks about how districts can rebuild trust with residents.

BILL ROBERTS

David Peterson, superintendent of the 2,100-student North Mason School District in Belfair, Wash., will replace retiring interim superintendent Pete Koehler in July.

Peterson's contract is still in negotiations, but his salary will be $140,000 annually.

"During this selection process I was very impressed by the vision and direction of the trustees, the optimism and strength of the administration, and the desire to help from the parents and community leaders," Peterson said.

Peterson was in Nampa this week for interviews.

He will lead the 15,000-student Nampa School District just as it is emerging from nearly two years of financial turmoil. The district has worked its way out of a $5.3 million deficit caused when administrators double-counted revenues and overestimated the number of students that would enroll, which skewed revenue projections.

Peterson will be the first permanent superintendent in Nampa since 2012, following Gary Larsen's resignation after the district's financial problem surfaced. The district has had two interim superintendents.

Nampa voters will decide Tuesday whether to approve an annual $3.4 million supplemental levy for two years to permit the district to fill 25 of the 46 teaching positions it left vacant this school year and to restore up to 14 furlough days that were lost as a result of budget cutting to meet expenses.

Peterson came to North Mason District in Belfair, about 40 minutes northwest of Tacoma, in 2007, as the school district was struggling and facing financial problems.

He helped create an accountability system where expectations are clear for all administrators, and performance is evaluated by evidence of effectiveness and tied to improving student learning.

He also worked for passage of a $49 million construction bond for a new high school and other improvements after three failed attempts in the past 10 years.

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