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MailTribune.com
  • Medford School Board will interview superintendent candidates

  • The Medford School Board will interview six candidates for the district's top job next week after reviewing a dozen applications forwarded by an executive search firm.
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  • The Medford School Board will interview six candidates for the district's top job next week after reviewing a dozen applications forwarded by an executive search firm.
    Board Chairman Jeff Thomas said Wednesday he was impressed with the applicants for superintendent recommended by Ray and Associates of Iowa.
    "Even before the (teachers') strike, there was concern about the kind of candidates we would receive, but I'm ecstatic about the ones that Ray and Associates brought us," Thomas said. The strike lasted 11 workdays in February before the district and its teachers' union settled on a new three-year contract.
    Nearly 220 people from 39 states either expressed interest in the position or were contacted directly by the search firm. Of those, 49 people completed the application process.
    The board met Tuesday morning to review in-depth packets on the firm's top picks and watch short videos in which each candidate answered two general questions so the board could see their communication styles.
    Board members were asked not to discuss the candidates with one another but to score them privately, Thomas said.
    The board will interview four candidates on Tuesday and two on Wednesday. It will then select finalists and invite them back for a second interview on April 14.
    Thomas did not know whether the candidates would consent to having their names made public at that time.
    In January, the board invited parents, district staff and community members to take an online survey and choose 10 characteristics they felt were essential in the district's next superintendent. Nearly 400 people took the survey. Ray and Associates used the results to screen the applicants.
    Based on the survey, the board's top priority is to find a superintendent who "inspires trust, self-confidence and models high standards."
    Superintendent Phil Long retires June 30 after 30 years with district, including eight as superintendent. The new superintendent will begin work July 1.
    "I believe we'll find a great superintendent that will push our district forward," Thomas said. "The candidate pool was amazing. It really was."
    Reach education reporter Teresa Thomas at 541-776-4497 or tthomas@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/teresathomas_mt.
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