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Ripon plans search for top school administrator
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When Bill Draa agreed to stay on as superintendent of the Ripon Unified School District, he did so under a two-year pact.

That was back in September 2013. He came aboard at a time when Louise Johnson departed over the summer in the midst of the planning stages of the voter-approved Measure M renovation projects for Weston Elementary School and Colony Oak Elementary School.

Draa, who retired as superintendent from the Banta Elementary School District, was well aware of school construction, having helped out with the planning of River Island Technology Academy in Lathrop.

His RUSD contract will soon expire.

At tonight’s meeting at the Ripon City Hall Council Chambers, 259 Wilma Ave., the school board is scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the San Joaquin County Office of Education. This joint proposal will help guide the process in the superintendent search.

The SJCOE folks have assisted Escalon Unified, New Jerusalem Elementary, Amador Unified and Stockton Unified in recruiting and selecting of their superintendents.

Cost to RUSD for this service would be $12,000.

Karen DePrater was part of the RUSD superintendent search back two years ago. She’s the Director of Human Resources Department of SJCOE and will be joined by former deputy superintendent Gary Dei Rossi.

If all goes accordingly, the two parties are hoping to have their choice for superintendent in late May.

Trustees will meet on this matter and more at the 7 p.m. open session. Other agenda items include:

•    Student representative Eleanor Waters giving a presentation to the board.

•    Principal Michael Larson providing an update on Ripon Elementary.

•    Stephanie Hobbs from the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation giving an update on the Ripon High stadium project.

•    Shaun Blaylock of Teter LLP talking about the findings and recommendations for the RUSD Master Facilities Fund.

•    The new hiring and resignations for January.

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