Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



School board chooses admin team to find candidate to replace outgoing superintendent

The Gervais School District will conduct its search for a new superintendent over the next several months through an in-house team after school administrators lobbied the Gervais School Board of Directors for the job last month.

The Gervais School Board of Directors voted unanimously on Sept. 26 to let administrators Ken Stott, Bob Martin, Ann O'Connell, Sylvia Garcia and Creighton Helms lead the search efforts to replace outgoing Superintendent Matt Henry, who is set to retire after the 2018-19 school year.

Helms, principal of Gervais Elementary School, and the administrative team petitioned the school board to conduct the search instead of hiring firms from the Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) and McPherson & Jacobson LLC, noting it would save the school district thousands of dollars while handing the search process over to a team that would be much more intimately familiar with the needs of the school district.

"I think that would be hard for a third party to come in and own this process with the depth of knowledge, history and emotions that would come from this," Helms said. "Nobody has a greater vested interest in who this person is going to be than those of us who work with this superintendent every day."

McPherson and Jacobson submitted a bid to conduct the search for $7,900, while the OSBA's quote was $9,500. While the OSBA's bid includes a guarantee on the position for up to two years, the board ultimately decided that they preferred the administrative team's proposal.

"They assured us," board member Henry Bustamante said. "Those are some of the smartest brains we have. I'm pretty confident."

Phil Hawkins can be reached at 503-765-1194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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