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Ripon seeks input in its search for superintendent
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What are some of the qualities necessary for the next superintendent of the Ripon Unified School District?

Those questions and more could soon be answered as part of the process by the San Joaquin County Office of Education search team.

A series of community input meetings are being held, including one scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Ripon City Hall Council Chambers, 259 Wilma Ave.

“We’re looking to get as many people participate,” Superintendent Bill Draa said.

He came aboard in 2013, at first, on an interim basis when Louise Johnson left to take on a similar-type job up north for family reasons.

This was also during the time when voter-approved Measure M renovation projects – most notably, Weston Elementary School – were still in the planning stages. Draa, who was the retired as superintendent of the Banta Elementary School District, was well aware of school construction. He had helped out with the planning of River Island Technology Academy in Lathrop.

Draa decided to stay on as “caretaker” for the RUSD construction projects, inking a two-year pact on September 2013.

RUSD and SJCOE entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday.

In doing so, SJCOE will help the local school board with the complexities of the search project, creating a detailed plan and mapping out any important events, for starters.

Spearheading the efforts are former SJCOE deputy superintendent Gary Dei Rossi and current Director of Human Resources Department Karen DePrater.

The process includes a job announcement posted in the ACSA EdCal and, possibly, other recruiting periodicals by next month.

The screening of applications followed by eight potential candidates being interviewed is earmarked for April.

The new superintendent could be announced during a special school board meeting on May 26.

For more information, call the RUSD office at 209.599.2131 or log on to