Top job in Scappoose schools remains in limbo
UPDATED 4/13/18: The future leadership of the Scappoose School District remains uncertain after the sole candidate for a full-time superintendent position declined the job earlier this week.
Interim Superintendent Ron Alley announced Monday night, April 9, during a school board meeting that he would not accept a full-time superintendent position with the district.
According to the meeting agenda, the board was scheduled to conclude its superintendent search and approve a new contract Monday night under the topic of new business, which routinely falls later in the meeting.
Board Chair Phil Lager, however, motioned to modify the agenda to bring the item to the beginning of the meeting. Before the board took any action on the scheduled item, Alley read from a prepared statement, declining to take the role of full time superintendent.
"Thank you for this vote of confidence. I want to thank the board for support of my work as interim superintendent this year. I have decided to decline the superintendent position in the district," Alley said in part. "I think new leadership at this time may be beneficial to the direction this district is headed. I'd like to thank the principals, district staff and board for their support and friendship."
Alley stated that he would remain in the district and would return to his role as the director of curriculum, instruction and secondary education. Alley did not respond to requests for comment on his specific reasons for declining the position by the Spotlight's press time.
In late March, the school district announced the selection of Alley and Jim Shank as the two final candidates out of a pool of 28 applicants. In early April, Shank notified the district that he accepted employment elsewhere leaving Alley as the sole finalist.
Prior to a meet-and-greet on April 4 with Alley, the school board received an anonymous letter signed by four women who wrote they had worked with Alley and alleged they had "experienced sexist discrimination and harassment from Mr. Alley."
It's unclear if the board plans to investigate the claims made in the letter. Last week, Lager stated that the board was not able to "respond to anonymous claims against any employee of our district."
Following the regular meeting, the school board held an executive session, which had not been previously announced, to discuss the employment of an employee. The board did not take any action following the executive session.
Immediately after Monday's board meeting, Lager requested that all questions from the Spotlight be submitted in writing. A press release was issued by the district around 4 p.m. Thursday, on response to the Spotlight's questions, which focused on Alley and the superintendent position.
The release, which largely summarized the series of events that led up to Monday's meeting and a statement of thanks to Alley for his work in the district, contained a statement that the board is still working its with consultants who assisted in the superintendent search process about the next steps.