The Battle Ground school board unanimously appointed Duane Rose as the district’s interim superintendent while a successor for Shonny Bria is sought. Bria is retiring June 30 after 15 years at the district’s helm.
Rose’s contract begins July 1 and will last for a year or until a permanent superintendent is hired.
The board also appointed Lynn Hicks as interim deputy superintendent to temporarily replace Diana Gilsinger, who is also retiring June 30. The contract for Hicks is for the same time period.
Both appointments were made during the public portion of a special board meeting held Saturday. Their salaries were not immediately available.
Bria announced her retirement at an April 29 board meeting. She is completing the first year of a three-year contract.
John Idsinga, board president, explained the need to appoint the interim positions quickly.
“We need to get this done because people in the district were asking: ‘What about leadership between now and then?'” said Idsinga. “At Saturday’s meeting, we had a good discussion and asked for names. We decided this would be a great team, with their past knowledge of the district.”
Rose, a former Battle Ground teacher, principal and administrator, already has been serving as a liaison to the board since Bria’s announcement.
Hicks retired from the district in 2006 as assistant superintendent for business and operations.
Finding a permanent superintendent will be an involved, public process, Idsinga said. The district will use an interest-based approach that involves community members, parents, employees, employee unions and other major groups.
“We will come together with the community and have public meetings and have the bargaining units present,” Idsinga said. “They’ll all be involved in the process to design what we’re looking for in a superintendent.”
“My understanding is we want to get public input on how we are going to develop the process on how we are going to hire the permanent superintendent,” said Ellen Joslin, who heads the Battle Ground teacher’s union.
“I’m glad the board assigned interim long-term contracts so they can concentrate on hiring the next superintendent,” said Vicki Sparks, president of Battle Ground Citizens for Better Schools. “We’ve passed our levy. Now it’s important to get the district on solid footing with someone who is progressive and looking forward.”
The public meetings on the superintendent search will be announced when the dates are determined.