School board to pay $235K for new boss

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By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

The Salem-Keizer School Board is prepared to look beyond Oregon for the next superintendent and to pay that person an annual salary of about $235,000.

No vote was taken on that or any other item Jan. 9 at a work session with Ray & Associates, the search firm involved in hiring the superintendent, because the board does not vote in work sessions.

Three Ray & Associates representatives participated: Gary Ray of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, president of the firm; Sarah Brown of Portland; and John Young of Washougal, Wash.

Board members seemed to agree with director Nancy MacMorris-Adix that limiting the search to Oregon would be unfair to the district because it would involve too few candidates.

The $235,000 figure, which would be subject to negotiation, was proposed by director Chris Brantley after the board looked at a list of districts around the country, some of which paid their superintendents more than that.

There was general agreement that a salary of about $235,000 would be a necessary incentive for many potential superintendents to move to Salem-Keizer.

Board members took Ray’s advice that first advertising the position and then offering a salary is not likely to work in the public sector.

Also generally agreed was that a superintendent need not have a specified degree but must be state-qualified for the position.

Ray & Associates gave board members copies of two suggested timelines for hiring the next superintendent. One would have the final meeting with the search firm the week of March 10, followed by selection of the superintendent

and contract negotiations. The other would have largely the same schedule except for the week of April 7 as the final meeting with Ray & Associates.

The work session was the first public board meeting at which Paula Radich, the interim superintendent, was present. Radich, who is not seeking the permanent position, succeeds Sandy Husk, who has taken the chief executive position with the San Diego-based AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), which helps students obtain college educations.

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