Schools hold public forums

HRCSD seeks input in search for Superintendent

Charles Beck, superintendent for the Hood River County School District, has submitted his resignation, effective June 30, 2013. As a result, the school board has initiated a plan for hiring a new superintendent to begin service on July 1, 2013.

The recruitment firm of Ray and Associates Inc. was selected by the board to conduct a nationwide search for the best available candidate.

The hiring of a district superintendent is an extensive process. An important part of this process is listening to our patrons to gain their input and opinion in what they value in a superintendent and instructional leader overseeing our schools.

To accomplish this task, the board will be asking for your input on two levels: by attending parent and community meetings and by filling out online surveys.


The parent and community meetings will be held throughout the district on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and will be facilitated by a team of representatives from Ray and Associates. You may attend any meeting that will best accommodate your schedule.

The Nov. 14 meeting locations and times are:

n Cascade Locks School, Room 12, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

n Mid Valley Elementary (Spanish translation services provided), library, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

n Wy’east Middle School, auditorium, 7-8 p.m.

n May Street Elementary, cafeteria, 7:15-8:15 p.m.

Online survey

Parents and community members will also be able to provide feedback and direction to the school board through an online survey conducted by Ray and Associates. The survey can be taken using your home computer by connecting to the appropriate link on our district web page. If you do not have computer access, contact the principal in your child’s school and they will provide you access to a computer. Computer access is also available at the local library.

The computer survey started Nov. 7 and will be available until Nov. 15. Visit the district website at and click Superintendent Survey. Participants will be asked to choose 10 — and only 10 — of 33 listed qualities that they consider most important in a superintendent.

A few examples of those qualities include: “Is willing to listen to input, but is a decision maker”; “Is capable of developing both short and long-range district goals”; “Has work experience in a similar district”; Demonstrates ability to work with the media”; “Makes recommendations and decisions that are data-driven.”

Anyone who needs assistance with the survey or wants more information about the search process may contact Ray and Associates at

What comes next

The school board will meet with Ray and Associates Dec. 4 to get a final brochure ready for advertisement of the position, according to Human Resources Director Kevin Noreen. The position will be advertised until Feb. 4 and then the screening process will begin. The school board will select a new superintendent by July 1.

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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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