Superintendent search proceeds

Two firms will present proposals to school board at special meeting Nov. 6

The Hood River County School District Board of Directors announced Wednesday that it is moving ahead with its search for a new superintendent.

The school board will hold a special meeting Nov. 6 to hear presentations from two organizations about how each would conduct a superintendent search for the district. The board is seeking to replace Superintendent Jerry Sessions, who resigned effective in June 2003 after it was disclosed he made an unauthorized payment of $49,000 from the district budget to former Hood River Valley High School Athletic Director Glenn Elliott. Elliott left HRVHS in June after 20 years with the district when his administrative position was eliminated due to budget cuts.

Sessions described the payment, which went undisclosed for weeks until board members confronted the superintendent about it, as “basically a severance.”

The special meeting on Nov. 6 will be held in the board room of the district office, 1020 Montello Ave., at 7 p.m. Representatives from the Oregon School Boards Association, based in Salem, and from Northwest Leadership Associates in Liberty Lake, Wash., both of whom contract with school districts to conduct administrative searches, have been asked to present their proposals for a superintendent search to the board.

School board chair Jan Veldhuisen Virk said that the meeting is open to the public, but stressed that it will be an informational meeting only.

“They’re going to be giving presentations on what they can do for us,” Veldhuisen Virk said. “We won’t be deciding anything. We won’t even be giving input.” She said the board will likely decide the following week which firm to award the search to. As the search progresses, Veldhuisen Virk said, there will be “plenty of community meetings” and opportunities for public input.

Also at Wednesday’s board meeting, Mitch Sanders, HRVHS athletic director and football coach, gave a presentation about how the transition to the Intermountain Conference is going so far. HRVHS student athletes Elie Meierbachtol, Alex Ponce and Matt Cody offered their perspectives — all three agreeing that competition in the IMC is good. The students also gave a review of a recent student survey about the transition.

“Overall, the response has been pretty positive from kids considering it’s all new,” Veldhuisen Virk said after the meeting.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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