Schools appoint Eggers interim superintendent, proceed with search

Rick Eggers will be one of the busiest people in town over Christmas break.

The Hood River County School District Board of Directors on Wednesday appointed Eggers interim superintendent, through June 30, 2003. Eggers, in his fourth year as assistant superintendent of the school district, will lead the district in its period of transition as it searches for a new superintendent during the first quarter of 2003.

The board scheduled a special meeting for noon on Tuesday, at the district office, open to the public, to discuss the interim transition.

“We need to have a discussion about your expectations for the next six months,” Eggers told the board. “There are some things I’d like to work on over the winter break, when things are quieter, so it would be good to have a serious discussion about what you want to accomplish in that period of time.”

Eggers said, “I’ll come back with a recommendation about what we do with the assistant superintendent (position.) My anticipation at this point is we do not put anyone in that position.” He said the administrative team would look at ways to “shuffle duties” between now and June.

The board also accepted the resignation of superintendent Jerry Sessions, who will leave the district Jan. 1. Sessions had originally resigned in September, effective June 2003, but has since obtained a job that starts Jan. 6 with a school district in California.

“During my time here I have met many wonderful people and witnessed the positive work that staff does on behalf of kids,” Sessions wrote in his Dec. 6 letter of resignation. “Hood River County School District is a quality school district and I leave with regrets. My resignation allows me to pursue another carreer opportunity which has opened up for me out of state. I wish the board and school district the best.”

The board passed the superintendent baton to Eggers for the next six months.

“I think it’s going to be a great match,” said Marcia LaDuke, fellow assistant superintendent, who serves on equal footing with Eggers. “Rick and I have a great working relationship. We have always worked as a team and I see that continuing.”

LaDuke noted that Eggers had stated he did not plan to apply for the superintendent’s position, but that she has not decided.

“I have indicated I am considering it,” LaDuke said. “I do have the desire, but I am still doing some soul-searching.”

The board made progress on its search process, formally adopting a schedule and the list of qualifications and attributes it wants, and approved the information that search consultant Jer Pratton will place in the brochure that the district will send out to applicants.

The board formalized its plans to appoint six citizens to the “Superintendent Search Committee” whose members will review application packets and suggest finalists for the job.

The committee, which will also contain district employees, will meet starting with a special board meeting on Feb. 5 for instructions on what will be a week-long, confidential process.

Anyone interested in being considered for the advisory committee should call Rita Beckman, administrative assistant, at 387-5013, by Dec. 30. The board will select the advisory committee at its meeting on Jan. 8.

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