GRANGEVILLE – “My whole goal while here has been to prepare the way for a full-time superintendent,” Mountain View School District 244 acting superintendent Woody Woodford said last week.
To that end, Woodford has been working on a brochure highlighting the district and listing job qualifications.
The board voted last month to have the ISBA (Idaho School Board Association) assist in the search for a superintendent, and Woodford is doing his part to help see that that happens in a specific time frame.
“I would like to see us advertise this month, with the application deadline being Jan. 31,” he said. He added he would like to have semifinalists, following reference checks, in the queue by Feb. 14, then interviewed and have a person hired by March 1.
This time frame, he said, will allow for a smoother transition for the new superintendent as Woodford leaves the acting position in June.
“I am suggesting to the board a multi-year contract,” he said Thursday, Jan. 9. “When you vet out the applicants and find the right person for the job, this makes sense. This can also make the position more attractive to the right applicants.”
After superintendent Marc Scheibe was let go in 2019, Woodford was hired as acting superintendent in August in the interim to hiring a full-time person for the 2020-21 school year. Woodford and his wife, Rose, live in Superior, Mont. They have five children and 14 grandchildren. Three of their children --- Beau, Chase and Loni – are graduates of Grangeville High School.
“I have quite a bit of previous experience with this district,” Woodford said. “Everything I’ve done in my time here is, number one, about the students, and, number two, about preparing for the coming year.”
Woodford also explained the board will be discussing its plans for upcoming levies.
“I've suggested running a two-year levy, which will help increase the district’s financial stability,” he said, as well as boost morale for its employees and the community.
Woodford said the board decided to look at a May levy election time frame rather than March because of the changeover to a new board.
Chair Lot Smith and trustee Mike Dominguez were off the board as of Jan. 1. On Jan. 10, new members Melisa Kaschmitter and Pam Reidlen and re-elected member Casey Smith were sworn in to serve alongside trustees Rebecca Warden and vice-chair Brad Lutz.
Woodford said district calendars are currently being created and he hopes to cement these schedules for not only the 2020-21 school year but also the 2021-22 year.
“I think, again, this offers stability and helps patrons as well as staff and students plan for the upcoming years,” he said.
Woodford acknowledged some late calendar changes for 2019-20 were frustrating for everyone involved.
“It’s really ideal to get in as many five-day learning teaching blocks as possible,” he emphasized. “Sometimes holiday schedules haven’t worked out the best for everyone, but the main goal is to always do what’s best for the kids.”
Some parents and staff were concerned about a calendar change that had students coming back to school Thursday, Jan. 3, following Christmas break.
He said there was about an 80 percent attendance rate across the district for that Thursday and Friday, Jan. 3 and 4.
“These re-entry days actually allowed for some needed remediation time and made the following week a smoother transition,” he said.