Pete Koehler, the former Nampa School District superintendent who signed on as state superintendent-elect Sherri Ybarra’s interim chief deputy, says he took the job because the two have the same vision for the state department.
“The more and more time I spent with Sherri I realized our visions are very, very close together and the vision is that the State Department truly operates as an instrument of service for school districts, kids and parents,” Koehler told Idaho Education News’ Clark Corbin.
Despite the sharp criticism Ybarra received during her campaign, Koehler said she understands Idaho’s public education system and how the budget and classrooms interconnect.
“I’m aware of a great deal of negative press (Ybarra) received, and I’d say I’m not sure people really understand the real person out here,” Koehler said. “I don’t see a figurehead in any sense of the word.”
Koehler took over as interim superintendent of the Nampa School District in 2013 in the midst of a financial crisis that he helped solve.