The Central Valley School Board has taken its first tentative step toward replacing Superintendent Dick Sovde.
Board members met last Friday with two representatives from the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) to seek advice on how to conduct a search for a new superintendent.
WSSDA is a statewide organization that assists in the operation and management of school districts. Sovde, who’s been with CV since 1986, takes over as superintendent of the Puyallup School District, near Tacoma, on Aug. 1.
Of the four options presented to them, the only one board members ruled out was conducting a fast track search to have a new superintendent in place by the start of school.
That option would not solicit enough community input, board members said.
“That would not be appropriate in the community we have,” said board member Linda Tompkins.
The search will “give us an opportunity to get back with the community,” said board member Cynthia McMullen.
The other three options are: conducting a full conventional search with hopes of hiring a superintendent during the school year, hiring an interim leader for one year, and appointing someone from within the district to act as superintendent for a year.
Although the remaining three options are all possibilities, board members expressed the most interest in hiring or appointing an interim person to serve for one year while a full search is conducted.
McMullen said she was more comfortable with the year-long interim option than with “scurrying to find someone.”
The board asked the WSSDA representatives to provide a list of people in the state available to serve on an interim basis.
At a meeting July 17, board members will review that list and discuss any internal candidates. The board will decide on July 24 which search option it will pursue and whether it will hire a consultant to assist with the process.
Sovde accepted the Puyallup job on Friday, June 23. The next Monday, June 26, CV Board President Kay Bryant began receiving calls from potential applicants and consultants.
“It’s well known that there’s a vacancy here. The drums are beating,” said WSSDA Executive Director Larry Swift.
After Sovde leaves and until a decision is made, Assistant Superintendent Wally Stanley will act as superintendent.