Nampa names superintendent’s finalists

Two school district superintendents — one from Alaska, one from Washington state — are the finalists for the superintendent’s job in the Nampa School District.

Glenn Gelbrich
Glenn Gelbrich

The finalists are Glenn Gelbrich, superintendent of schools in Juneau, Alaska; and David Peterson, superintendent of the North Mason School District in Belfair, Wash. A citizens’ committee screened applicants for the job, and trustees announced the two finalists Thursday.

The public will get a chance to meet Gelbrich and Peterson Monday — and see PowerPoint presentations from the finalists. A reception will be held at the district’s office, 619 S. Canyon St.

As Nampa digs its way out of a protracted budget crunch, the district is searching for its fourth superintendent since 2012. Interim Superintendent Pete Koehler will retire in June.

David Petersen
David Peterson

Here is the news release from the district:

Two finalists for superintendent of the Nampa School District will be interviewed Monday, March 3, by the Nampa Board of Trustees.

The finalists are Glenn Gelbrich, Juneau School District Superintendent, Juneau, Alaska, and David Peterson, North Mason School District Superintendent, Belfair, Wash.

The public is invited to meet Gelbrich and Peterson during a reception 6:30 p.m., Monday at the district office, 619 S. Canyon St. Superintendent Search Committee Co-Chairmen Rich Hagood and Molly Lenty will emcee the reception, which will include short PowerPoint presentations from each finalist, and an opportunity for the public to meet and talk with the finalists.

The finalists are excited for the opportunity to interview and to learn more about the district and the Nampa community.

Gelbrich said, “I am delighted to be considered for the superintendent role in the Nampa School District.  The efforts underway in the school district and the livability of this vibrant community make it an ideal place to live and work.  I look forward to the opportunity to get to know the stakeholders in the community better as a part of this process.”

Peterson said, “I am very much enjoying learning about the Nampa community and its schools. The enthusiasm, commitment and optimism of the school leaders I’ve met is both impressive and energizing.  This is an exciting opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to getting to meet and talk with everyone during the interview process.”

During their visit to Nampa, the finalists also will tour schools and meet with district, school, and teacher leaders.

About the finalists

In the fall, the board of trustees appointed a community-based Superintendent Search Committee to lead the search for the district’s next superintendent, who will replace Interim Superintendent Pete Koehler, who will retire in June.

The committee sought feedback from stakeholders about the qualities, knowledge, and abilities expected in a superintendent. The committee sponsored 11 focus groups and received more than 900 online responses. Information was used to develop the application, screening tools, and interview questions. In February, the committee forwarded four candidates to the board.   

To identify its two finalists, the board reviewed the candidates’ application materials and information gathered by the committee and conducted screening interviews via Skype.

Both finalists are veteran administrators and educators each with more than 30 years of experience in education acquired in small and large school districts in the Pacific Northwest.

They both began their careers as classroom teachers at the elementary level and advanced to become principals and central office administrators before becoming district superintendents.

Below is a brief biography of each finalist.

Glenn Gelbrich

Glenn Gelbrich has served as superintendent of the Juneau School District since July 2009.

Prior to serving as superintendent, Gelbrich was an assistant superintendent in the Salem-Keizer School District for five years and an assistant superintendent in the Portland (Oregon) School District for three years. He served as a school principal in West Linn, Ore.  Gelbrich earned his administrative license from the University of Oregon and master’s degree in education from Oregon State University.

During his tenure in Juneau, Gelbrich has focused on increasing student achievement by leading initiatives to improve instruction and learning. During the recession and sharp reductions in Alaska support for education, he has led stakeholders to identify changes necessary to balance Juneau’s budget.

David Peterson

David Peterson has served as superintendent of the North Mason School District in Belfair, Wash. since July 2007.

Prior to serving as superintendent, Peterson was an assistant superintendent in the Oak Harbor (Washington) School District and central office administrator and principal in the Arlington (Washington) School District. Peterson earned his superintendent’s credential from Seattle Pacific University and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Washington.

During his tenure in North Mason, Peterson focused on improving student achievement and graduation rates. He worked with the School Board to manage reductions in education funding and rebuild the district’s fund balance. Peterson was instrumental in leading the community to pass $49 million construction bond for a new high school and other improvements after three failed attempts in the past 10 years.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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