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Grants Pass names two superintendent finalists

A District 7 employee or a superintendent from Coquille could succeed Kirk Kolb, who did not renew his contract for next year

On Tuesday, Grants Pass School District 7 named two finalists for superintendent, including an official who already works there.

Out of a pool of 13 applicants, Trisha Evens, director of secondary education for District 7, or Tim Sweeney, superintendent for Coquille School District 8 in Coquille, could succeed Kirk Kolb, who decided not to renew his contract when it expires this summer.

The district’s press release on the superintendent search stated that a third finalist withdrew their application Tuesday for “personal reasons.” District spokeswoman Kristin Hosfelt could not elaborate more on the reason for the person’s decision, but said the applicant hailed from out of state.

With the help of an external search firm, Evens and Sweeney were selected by the district’s Board of Education after video interviews were conducted and stakeholder input was reviewed.

The months-long process was what prompted board Chair Scott Nelson to thank community partners, students, staff and families for their participation along the way.

“(It has) helped us find highly qualified candidates who embody the experience, leadership and vision that will support and lead our students and district,” he said in a prepared statement.

The announcement of Evens and Sweeney as finalists came one week ahead of what District 7 said on its website was the approximate time they would be publicly announced.

From here, Sweeney and Evens will participate in interviews with the board, district constituents and the community March 14-15 at Grants Pass High School.

The district hopes to name a new superintendent on or about March 29, pending contract negotiations. The new district leader would start July 1.