The superintendent search is officially on at Ripon Unified.
Bill Draa, who is the retired superintendent at the Banta School District, is currently filling the role on an interim basis.
At the same time, he’s helping RUSD find a permanent replacement from the post previously held by Louise Johnson. For the past five years, she was in the top administrative spot before stepping down in July to become Superintendent of Schools for the Nevada Union High School District.
Trustees were presented with three choices – Leadership Associates ($21,500), Education Leadership Services ($17,750), and the San Joaquin County Office of Education ($10,000).
Draa favored SJCOE. The board agreed, voting unanimously for the service
“We’ve had a lot of dealings with SJCOE over the years – they know us,” said Draa. “(SJCOE’s fees) may be the least but it’s as good as the most expensive.”
SJCOE has assisted some of the neighboring districts in their superintendent searches, including Escalon Unified, New Jerusalem Elementary School District, Amador Unified, and Stockton Unified.
“Selecting a superintendent is one of the most important and significant decisions a board can make,” said SJCOE, relying on former Deputy Superintendent Gary Dei Rossi in the lead role for the search. “It is a decision that will have a huge impact on the future of the leadership of the district.
“This decision demands careful attention, time and the commitment to find the candidate who is not only professionally qualified, but also a leader who will match the beliefs, vision, and values of the school district and the community.”
Trustees are scheduled to meet with Dei Rossi at a special Aug. 26 session.
Part of the SJCOE process also includes the screening conducted by a committee made up of one board member, an at-large community member, a district leader, a site administrator, one certificated staff member, and a classified staff member. Anyone interested will have through Sept. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., to submit an application to the SJCOE office.
An eight-person interviewing committee will be sought by Oct.3.
According to the time lines, the board could have its next superintendent by the Nov. 4 scheduled meeting.
Dei Rossi will be assisted in the search by Karen DePrater, who is currently SJCOE’s Director of the Human Resources Department.
If all goes according, they could announce the new superintendent by at least the Nov. 4 school board meeting.
“What I like about (SJCOE) is that they don’t have a stable of applicants and they have a proven track record of success,” Trustee Mike Fisher said.
His colleague Kit Oase added: “SJCOE will help us fill a need.”