Notus, Kamiah and Emmett select new leaders

Tana Kellog, Notus

Two small Idaho school districts hired new superintendents recently.

Notus, a southwest Idaho district with fewer than 500 kids, hired Tana Kellogg as a superintendent and secondary principal.

Trustees in Kamiah, a similarly small district in North Idaho, hired former Middleton High School principal Ben Merrill as the district’s new leader.

Notus considered 11 applicants from across the country before hiring Kellogg, who lives in Boise and works as the director for an international school for girls. She has worked with a number of international schools and education groups, according to a news release from the district. Kellogg has bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from Idaho State University.

Before being hired by Kamiah, Merrill worked as an online principal for the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, according to an article in the Idaho County Free Press. Prior to that, he was the principal of Middleton High School. The Middleton School Board did not renew Merrill’s contract after a district investigation found that “Merrill had improved the climate for students and parents at the high school, but … created a dysfunctional system for  many of the staff.” Merrill told the Idaho Press that he was targeted unfairly. Students and parents protested Merrill’s departure from  the district.

The Free Press reported that Merrill was also a principal in the Baker School District and former superintendent and principal in Notus.

Isa De Armas

The Emmett School District hired Isa De Armas as an assistant superintendent to replace Dan Arriola, who will retire June 30. De Armas previously worked in the Saugus Union School District in Santa Clarita California where she most recently served

as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. Armas has family and friends in the Treasure Valley and has applied for numerous positions in the region. She was a finalist for the Notus superintendent position this year and the position of superintendent in the Middleton School District last year, a position that instead went to Sherawn Reberry, who resigned this week.

Sami Edge

About Sami Edge

Reporter Sami Edge, a University of Oregon graduate, joined Idaho Education News in 2019. She is a 2019 Education Writers Association fellow reporting on Latino student outcomes in Idaho. She also is a 2019 American Press Institute fellow. She can be reached at [email protected].

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