Education

New superintendent selected to take the helm at turbulent time for Middleton district

Wishes can come true: Middleton High School student council sees to that.

Middleton High School students and staff got to submit a wish, then the student council got busy. With community donations, they've been able to grant about 300.
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Middleton High School students and staff got to submit a wish, then the student council got busy. With community donations, they've been able to grant about 300.

This story was originally posted on IdahoEdNews.org on July 30,2019.

Sherawn Reberry, a program director at the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, will be the new superintendent of the Middleton School District, trustees decided July 30.

After a full day of meetings with three superintendent candidates and the public, trustees voted unanimously to approve Reberry as the new district superintendent.

“I love that she was a teambuilder,” trustee Marianne Blackwell said during a board meeting. “She really wants to innovate, just really collaborate with team building.”

Reberry is a former federal programs coordinator for the Caldwell School District. She also worked as the associate director for the Center for School Improvement at Boise State University, has been an adjunct faculty member at a number of universities and a fourth-grade teacher in the Kimberly School District.

“I thought for her, experience in the digital learning academy, I think that’s the way of the future,” trustee Kirk Adams said.

Reberry will take the helm of the Middleton School District at a turbulent time. Three of Middleton’s five trustees are facing potential recall in a special election. The high school will start the year with a new principal following the contentious ouster of former principal Ben Merrill. And many of the district staff members are new.

Former superintendent Josh Middleton stepped down earlier this year. In his letter of resignation, Middleton described dysfunction in the district and said elected officials “create and foster a hostile work environment.”

The Middleton district has also drawn national headlines in the past year, after staff wore Halloween costumes that many found insensitive and racist. Adding to the challenge, the Middleton School District has struggled for years to pass a bond issue for school construction. Three times, voters have said no.

Two other finalists applied for the superintendent job in Middleton.

Isa De Armas is the assistant superintendent of education services at Saugus Union School District in Santa Clarita, according to a Middleton district news release. She has worked as an assistant professor in the California State University system, as a principal in the Saugus Union School District, and as an elementary teacher.

Jeff Dillon also applied. Dillon is superintendent and middle/high school principal in Wilder and a former political actor. Dillon unsuccessfully challenged incumbent state superintendent Sherri Ybarra in the 2018 Republican primary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Northwest Nazarene University.

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