Superintendent shuffles: hiring news from across Idaho

At least 11 Idaho school districts and charter schools will start next school year with new leaders in place, and two are still searching.

Unlike last school year, when the state’s largest districts saw changeover, this year’s shakeups are concentrated in smaller, rural districts and charters.

This year’s numbers also round out unprecedented turnover among superintendents over the last two school years, when at least one-third of the state’s 115 districts made changes.

At least seven districts and charters will bring in new leaders next school year, while three hired from within.

Here’s a statewide update:

Another Choice Virtual Charter School

This online charter hopes to replace its longtime administrator Laura Sandidge — if it’s allowed to continue operating.

The Idaho public charter school commission ordered the school to close in February, after years of issues ranging from low and stagnate academic achievement to board and administrative oversight issues.

A Nov. 15 report obtained by Idaho EdNews outlined commission staff’s concerns that Another Choice’s former board chair, Kevin McLaren, and its now-former head administrator Sandidge violated Idaho ethics laws by benefiting from a contract between the school and Advocates for Inclusion, a developmental disability company. A state ethics commission disciplined Sandidge in April for authorizing payments to the company. Authorities investigated, but the local prosecutor did not pursue criminal charges.

The State Board of Education last month held a hearing on issues at the school and has final say in the school’s fate. The State Board meets next week in Pocatello and will post meeting materials here.

Another Choice’s next regular board meeting will be held June 15 at 6 p.m.

Bruneau-Grand View district

This southwestern Idaho district is still looking for its second superintendent in two years.

Trustees opted not to renew a contract for Todd Shumway earlier this school year. Shumway took over as superintendent a year ago and will transition to the North Gem district.

Bruneau-Grand View’s next scheduled board meeting is June 14.

Canyon-Owyhee School Service Agency (COSSA)

This regional technical education center in January promoted principal and CTE coordinator Patricia Frahn to superintendent.

The school cooperative annually serves over 1,100 students from the Homedale, Marsing, Notus, Parma and Wilder districts.

Frahn replaces longtime superintendent Harold Nevill, who is retiring.

Idaho Arts Charter School

Trustees at this Nampa-based charter selected longtime Colorado educator Ed Longfield to replace executive director Jackie Collins, who’s retiring after 17 years at the school.

Trustees selected Longfield during their May meeting.

Longfieild, who has been a superintendent and assistant superintendent in Colorado, came out of retirement to work at the school and be closer to family.

Lakeland district

Assistant superintendent Lisa Arnold will replace superintendent Becky Meyer on July 1, the Coeur d’Alene Press reports.

Arnold accepted a three-year contract for the job, the Press reported, but the contract has not yet been posted to the district’s website.

Lake Pend Oreille district

Trustees unanimously selected Meyer to lead the Lake Pend Oreille district, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.

Meyer, who took over in Lakeland in 2016, had previously worked as a counselor and administrator in Lake Pend Orielle.

The change is effective July 1, and guarantees Meyer $165,000 a year, according to a contract obtained by EdNews.

Mountain View district

Trustees here voted unanimously on May 19 to hire Kamiah district superintendent Steve Higgins starting July 1.

Higgins, a 29-year educator, takes over on July 1, with an annual salary of $130,000, the Lewiston Tribune reports.

Higgins replaces superintendent Todd Fiske.

North Gem

After just one year at Bruneau-Grand View, Todd Shumway will take over this rural East Idaho district. An April agenda and an employee of the district confirmed the hiring.

Shumway was principal of Cassia High School since 2017 prior to taking over at Bruneau-Grand View. He was also principal of Melba Junior-Senior High from 2010 to 2014.

Notus

COSSA Special Education Director Micah Doramus will take over starting next school year in this rural Canyon County district, a representative from the district told EdNews.

Doramus replaces Tana Kellogg, who took over as superintendent in 2020-21.

Other hirings

The Idaho School Boards Association, which helps districts hire superintendents, posted the following hires for next school year to its website:

  • Payette district: Brad Baumberger, a business education teacher in the district, will replace Robin Gilbert, who is retiring.
  • Salmon district: Troy Easterday, a science teacher at Hagerman High School and the College of Southern Idaho, will replace Chris Born.
  • Kamiah district: Paul Anselmo will replace Benjamin Merrill.

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