West Ada: Ranells interview is part of an ‘ongoing search’

One day after announcing Mary Ann Ranells’ interview itinerary, the West Ada School District went out of its way to say it is still shopping for a new superintendent.

Mary Ann Ranells
Mary Ann Ranells

“The West Ada School Board has invited a superintendent candidate finalist to visit the district as part of its ongoing search,” the district said in a news release Saturday. (The emphasis is the district’s; the italicized words were underlined in the news release).

Two paragraphs later, the district’s news release drove the point home further — again, with several words underlined for emphasis.

“Board Chair Tina Dean stated no decision was made to employ Ranells and that Ranells’ visit is the second step in the process.”

Ranells is the first candidate to come to West Ada for a formal interview. She will meet with staff later this afternoon, meet the public at a community forum Tuesday evening and sit down for an interview with the school board in a closed executive session Tuesday night.

All in all, a curious news release.

On the one hand, the district touted Ranells’ qualifications. In the news release, veteran trustee Mike Vuittonet touted the former Lakeland School District superintendent and former deputy state superintendent as a “top-tier candidate.”

But on the other hand, the district said it has 10 applicants in hand to succeed Linda Clark — and said other applications “are still being reviewed.” Vuittonet, for one, has said he would like to see the district bring in more candidates.

(Check back at Idaho Education News this evening for coverage from Ranells’ meeting with district staff.)

In other West Ada news, a recall campaign targeting four trustees appears to have lost some steam.

A recall targeting Dean and fellow trustees Russell Joki, Julie Madsen and Carol Sayles will not appear on the March ballot, the Idaho Statesman reported Friday. Clark supporters have launched the recall effort, accusing the four trustees of pushing the longtime superintendent out of the district’s top job.

A separate recall drive has targeted Vuittonet, Clark’s one supporter on the board.