Gervais School District selects new superintendent
Gervais School District Board announced Wednesday that it has selected Dianda "Dandy" L. Stevens as its next superintendent.
Stevens, who currently serves as the assistant superintendent in Silver Falls School District, will succeed Matt Henry, whose term ends on June 30.
The board had earlier pared down its search to three candidates: Stevens, Interim Jefferson School District Superintendent Brad Capener, and Gervais Middle School Principal and Director of Special Services Ann O'Connell. All three addressed the district in an open forum held Thursday, Feb. 28, at Gervais Middle School.
A press-release issued through board secretary Sandra Segura noted that Stevens and the Board are working on the terms of a tentative agreement that will be finalized at a public meeting.
Stevens taught in the district early in her career as an educator, from 1998-2003.
"I am so excited to return to the Gervais School District in this new leadership role," Stevens said. "The commitment of staff and parents to students' success was evident during my site visit and I was overwhelmed by the kindness and enthusiasm displayed during every interaction.
"It really is a homecoming," Stevens added. "As a teacher I was able to not only experience many great opportunities in the classroom but more importantly the students and fellow staff members made lasting impressions on me and helped me grow as an educator."
In addition to her prior experience working within the district, Stevens also has served as a middle school principal, a high school assistant principal responsible for both curriculum and discipline, and work with the Willamette Education Service District. Stevens also has international teaching experience, having taught middle and high school students in both Honduras and Guam.
Stevens was awarded the Oregon Curriculum Assistant Principal of the Year award in 2011. She carries a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University and a B.A. in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of Oregon.
"We are confident that her vast experience, deep knowledge of curriculum, management skills and innovative thinking will expand the quality of education throughout the district," Gervais School Board Chair Mike Jirges said.
The Board began conducting its search for a new superintendent after Henry announced in May 23 that he would be retiring after his five-year tenure with the Gervais School District concluded at the end of the 2018-19 school year.
Beginning in September 2018, the board began pursuing applicants and later conducted conducted first-round interviews with the assistance of a screening committee which included administrators, staff, and community members. With continued assistance from administrators and staff members, it then conducted site visits of three candidate finalists, followed by a second-round interview process, and comprehensive tour of the district, and a community, including the meet-and-greet forum.
The board concluded the review by investigating the final candidates' backgrounds and references. Jirges said those contacted as references had high praise for Stevens' knowledge about education and ability to build relationships.
"During the time I spent in the district during the interview process the commitment of staff is still evident," Stevens said. "It's an honor to be tasked with the challenge of leading a group of educators who work every day for the success of the Gervais students, and I believe that by working together, our students will continue to discover opportunities leading to fulfilling lives after their high school graduation.
"I am looking forward to working with everyone to continue to provide an outstanding educational experience for every student in the district," Stevens said.
Gervais Superintendent Forum
To read more about the open forum held on Feb. 27 with Stevens, Capener and O'Connell, go to