UPDATE: Superintendent shuffle: 2024 turnover at education’s helm

Updated on Feb. 23 with a leadership change at Salmon.

Superintendents statewide are already announcing their retirement, accepting new jobs, and tendering their resignations. 

The leadership shuffle in Idaho schools peaks each spring during prime hiring season, as trustees seek the most qualified candidates.  

EdNews tracks it all, and we’ll continue to update this story in the months to come. If you know of any openings or hires that we missed, let us know. 

Feb. 23 Update:

Salmon

Chris Born, a history teacher at Salmon High, has taken over as the district’s interim superintendent after Troy Easterday abruptly resigned from the position in January. Born served as the district’s superintendent from 2015-2022. “I wanted to end my career on a really good note,” he said of returning to teaching in 2022. “I still like being in the classroom with kids; that’s still joyful to me. So I wanted to end my career having fun rather than running the school district.”

But for now, he’s back at the helm. He plans to retire this summer; trustees are actively seeking candidates for the position.

Troy Easterday, Salmon’s former superintendent, resigned in January.

Feb. 16 Update:

Kuna

Superintendent Wendy Johnson is moving on to an area director position with the Boise School District. She’ll stay on at Kuna until June 30, when Assistant Superintendent Kim Bekkedahl will take over as interim superintendent for the 2024-25 school year.

Kuna Superintendent Wendy Johnson. Courtesy photo
Assistant Superintendent Kim Bekkedahl will take over as Kuna’s interim superintendent for the 2023-25 school year.

Feb. 8 Update:

Hagerman

Bill Hicks has been named interim superintendent for the rest of this school year, according to the district’s website. Hicks replaces former superintendent James Brown, who trustees dismissed after police investigated him for allegedly “showering nude in front of junior high and high school boys,” according to the Times-News’ Monica Carillo-Casas.

Bill Hicks, the interim superintendent for Hagerman Joint School District. Photo: hjsd.org

Council

Mike Howard is serving as the district’s interim superintendent this school year, after former superintendent Clete Edmunson resigned amid pending litigation and a school board investigation. Howard was formerly the superintendent at New Meadows; he retired last summer, then took the helm at Council.

Jan. 31 Update:

Boise 

Leaving: Superintendent Coby Dennis will retire this summer. 

Taking over: Longtime Boise educator Lisa Roberts, becoming the district’s first female superintendent

Lisa Roberts, incoming Boise superintendent

 

Fremont County

Leaving: Dave Marotz, who was serving as interim superintendent.

Taking over: Brandon Farris, who is currently the principal at Wyoming’s Clear Creek Middle School, will start as superintendent this summer. Originally from Jerome, Farris told EastIdahoNews.com that becoming a superintendent “is a dream come true.”

“Dr. Farris brings a wealth of experience and dedication to education, and we look forward to the positive impact he will make on our school district,” a district announcement read. 

Brandon Farris and his family. Farris will take over as Fremont County Superintendent.

South Lemhi

Leaving: Superintendent Kevin Ramsey will stay with the district, but take on a different role this summer. 

Taking over: The position is currently advertised on edjobsidaho.com. 

Kevin Ramsey, South Lemhi Superintendent

Valley

Leaving: Former Superintendent Jennifer Jacobson resigned in November following a disagreement with the board of trustees. Eric Anderson is acting as interim superintendent. 

Taking over: The position is currently advertised on edjobsidaho.com. 

Eric Anderson, interim superintendent for Valley School District

Jerome

Leaving: Superintendent Pat Charlton will retire this summer. 

“I’ve been at this business for a long time, this is my 45th year in education and my 39th year as an administrator, and so I decided it’s probably time to start enjoying my grandkids and my family, and as well as some of my passions like skiing and so forth,” Charlton told kmvt.com.

Taking over: The position has not been filled yet. 

Pat Charlton, Jerome superintendent

New Plymouth

Leaving: Superintendent David Sotutu resigned at the end of the 2022-2023 school year, according to argusobserver.com.

In his resignation letter, which was obtained by the Argus Observer, Sotutu cited Idaho’s political climate as a reason for leaving: “While our school district and community have been very supportive of our students and educators, the state of Idaho’s hostility towards public education is suffocating,” he wrote. 

Taking over: Wil Overgaard is the district’s interim superintendent, who came out of retirement to help. It’s the second time he’s done so, having previously come out of retirement to serve as interim superintendent at Buhl School District. 

He said his returns to leadership speak to the lack of qualified superintendents in Idaho: “There’s a shortage, there’s no question.”

On top of that, New Plymouth School District’s opening came after prime superintendent hiring season, which was a factor.

The position is now open again, and is being advertised on the Idaho School Boards Association website. 

New Plymouth interim superintendent Wil Overgaard.
New Plymouth interim superintendent Wil Overgaard

Shelley

Leaving: Chad Williams will become the Idaho High School Activities Association’s executive director this summer, replacing Ty Jones, who will retire. 

“I look forward to the journey ahead and the positive impact we can make together,” he said in a press release. “My primary focus is on fostering relationships across Idaho, with the ultimate goal of offering students enriching opportunities for learning, personal growth, and excellence through extracurricular activities.”

Taking over: The position is currently advertised on edjobsidaho.com. 

Chad Williams, Shelley superintendent

Fruitland

Leaving: Current Superintendent Lyle Bailey will retire this summer.

Taking over: The position is currently advertised on the Idaho School Boards Association website. 

Idaho EdNews data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this report. 

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro

Reporter Carly Flandro works in EdNews’ East Idaho bureau. A former high school English teacher, she writes about teaching, learning, diversity, and equity. You can follow Flandro on Twitter @idahoedcarly and send her news tips at [email protected].

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