It is a new year and the West Ada School District has a new superintendent who, by all accounts, should be able to lead the district through whatever comes her way.
Not only do we congratulate Idaho’s largest school district and its Board of Trustees on the hiring of Mary Ann Ranells — her contract covers the period through the end of June — we also congratulate the board for its orderly, open and transparent process leading up to it.
At every step the board took time to listen to parents, district constituents and other stakeholders before moving on to the next step. Landing someone with Ranells’ background and talent at a time when the board was navigating some tough internal and external discord underscores the level of success.
Let’s face it, West Ada trustees have not been a party to too many unanimous votes during the past six months, which were marked by sharp periods of discord and dysfunction leading up to and following the departure of Linda Clark, who served admirably as superintendent for more than a decade. The vote for Ranells, however, was unanimous.
It is long past time to move on and get full focus back on the classroom as the fast-growing district faces almost continuous expansion challenges. Ranells, a former superintendent at Lakeland School District in North Idaho and deputy superintendent of the State Department of Education, has the temperament and credentials to continue the success of the district.
The new superintendent and the newer trustees have an opportunity to bond and build on a district already adept at overachievement. We wish Ranells and the trustees the best in 2016.
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