Battle Ground schools select superintendent finalists

By Susan Parrish, Columbian Education Reporter



Battle Ground school board members chose three finalists for the district’s superintendent position, narrowing the field from six semifinalists after interviews Saturday. Two of the finalists currently work in Clark County; the third works in Pacific County.

The finalists will tour the district, meet staff and have final interviews with the school board Friday and Saturday. They will meet community members at a public question-and-answer forum from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Chief Umtuch Middle School, 700 N.W. Ninth St., Battle Ground.

The finalists are:

o Theodore Feller, executive director of secondary education at Evergreen Public Schools. Evergreen, one of the state’s largest school districts, has more than 26,000 students. Previously, Feller was director of assessment and school improvement for Centennial School District in the Portland area and principal in the Tigard-Tualatin (Ore.) School District.

o George (Mark) Hottowe, superintendent, Ocean Beach School District in Long Beach, which has 975 students. Previously, he was executive director of supervision and human resources, director of student services and an elementary and middle school principal for the Kelso School District, a principal in the Longview School District, and an assistant principal in Sumner.

o Mike Stromme, associate superintendent of teaching and learning for Vancouver Public Schools, which has 22,500 students. Previously, he was interim superintendent at Green Mountain School District; associate superintendent, instructional services and technology, Educational Services District 112; and chief of secondary schools and high school principal, Vancouver Public Schools.

Consultants Mike Boring and Albert Cohen have worked with school board members, district administrators, staff and community members for several months to create a pool of qualified applicants for the superintendent position.

The district’s previous superintendent, Shonny Bria, left the district June 30 with two years remaining on her contract. School board members signed a $401,715 separation agreement with Bria, and kept the deal secret until four days before her departure.

Since Bria’s departure, the district has been led by interim Superintendent Duane Rose, a former district administrator. Rose, who previously had retired from the district, was not an applicant for the permanent job.