Day 44: Three new directors

State superintendent Debbie Critchfield paid a visit to the Statehouse Friday morning to support a bill to codify parental rights in public schools. She collaborated with lawmakers to develop the legislation, and presented it before the House Education Committee, alongside the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale.

Teachers and administrators are the experts in education … parents are the experts on their child,” Critchfield told the committee. 

And the state superintendent announced three new hires Friday, filling director positions at the State Department of Education.

Spencer Barzee, longtime superintendent of the West Side School District, was hired as director of Eastern Idaho regional support services — a new position at the SDE. Barzee has an extensive background in education, including experience as a math teacher, elementary and high school principal, athletic director and superintendent. He’s set to start at the SDE in August.

Meghan Wonderlich will take over as director of content and curriculum. Wonderlich has over 16 years of experience in education, having formerly served as a math teacher, assistant principal and principal.

And Julie Mead — who has been serving as interim director of special education — has officially been appointed as director of special education. Mead was a school psychologist and head of special services in the Caldwell School District, and was Director of the Idaho Special Education Support and Technical Assistance (SESTA) program.

“I’m confident that the addition of these talented individuals will help us to best serve our educational communities,” Critchfield said. “Bringing in the right people for the future of Idaho’s students is a top priority of mine, and I think that Megan, Spencer and Julie are all uniquely suited for the work ahead of them.”

Critchfield also held meetings with the SDE staff, the SDE executive team and members of Gov. Brad Little’s staff Friday.

Sadie Dittenber

Sadie Dittenber

Reporter Sadie Dittenber focuses on K-12 policy and politics. She is a College of Idaho graduate, born and raised in the Treasure Valley. You can follow Sadie on Twitter @sadiedittenber and send her news tips at [email protected].

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday