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Cheney School Board selects new superintendent from district in Stevens County

UPDATED: Fri., April 22, 2022

Former military offices, shown May 11, 2017, houses Cheney Public Schools offices on a former missile base northeast of Cheney. The district announced on Friday, April 22, 2022 that it had selected Ben Ferney to serve as the district's new superintendent starting July 1.  (JESSE TINSLEY)
Former military offices, shown May 11, 2017, houses Cheney Public Schools offices on a former missile base northeast of Cheney. The district announced on Friday, April 22, 2022 that it had selected Ben Ferney to serve as the district's new superintendent starting July 1. (JESSE TINSLEY)

Ben Ferney, a former assistant principal at Cheney Middle School, is returning to Cheney Public Schools to be the district’s superintendent.

In a unanimous vote Friday afternoon, the Cheney School Board voted to hire Ferney to take over the district of 5,300 students, effective July 1.

For the past four years, Ferney has led the 1,600-student Valley School District, located south of Chewelah.

For five years before that, he was the principal at Freeman Middle School. A Washington State University graduate, Ferney also has taught in Cheney and Spokane.

“I am excited to come serve in Cheney Public Schools,” Ferney said Friday in a news release. “The district is moving forward in a positive direction and I look forward to being a part of this great team.”

Ferney replaces Robert Roettger, who leaves the job on June 30 to become the new superintendent of Educational Service District 101.

Ferney holds an education doctorate in educational leadership from Gonzaga, a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from Eastern Washington University and a Bachelor of Science from Washington State University.

“We wish to thank all those who participated in the process and look forward to the energy and enthusiasm Dr. Ferney has for our students and schools as he moves into this important role in our community,” Board of Directors President Mitch Swenson said in a news release.

A contract will be presented to the school board of directors on Wednesday.

The other finalists were Sean Dotson, superintendent of the Tumwater School District in Washington, and Don Vanderholm, superintendent of Lind-Ritzville Cooperative Schools.

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