As the beginning of the school year approaches, only one Idaho district remains without a superintendent — Council. And this is after more than 20 openings in school district and charter leadership positions that needed to be filled.
Scroll down for superintendent updates from throughout the summer and previous spring.
Angie Oparnico will take over for David Carson who accepted a position with the Gooding School District in May.
In her first superintendent’s message, Oparnico described her anticipation “to grow the district in a positive direction” after the Buhl native served as an educator and coach in its schools for 19 years.
The Mackay Joint School District board hired Christine Ivie as superintendent at a June 19 special meeting. Ivie takes over from Susan Buescher who led Mackay for over six years.
Ivie has over 25 years of experience in education and administration with a primary focus on “comprehensive reform, school improvement and school choice,” according to her LinkedIn bio.
Notably, Ivie served as chief of education for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ames Research Center as well as the Idaho Department of Education deputy superintendent and Idaho State Board of Education’s chief elementary and secondary academic officer.
The New Plymouth School District will move into the new school year with Wil Overgaard as interim superintendent.
Overgaard has 41 years of Idaho school system experience and retired as the interim Weiser superintendent two years ago. Now Overgaard will steer New Plymouth’s helm, serving as a temporary stabilizer after a late opening for superintendent.
“We are incredibly fortunate and pleased to have a leader of Wil’s caliber step in and help us out while we search for a permanent replacement,” school board chairman Marc Haws said.
Council is in the process of searching for a new leader after the board unanimously accepted the resignation of superintendent Clete Edmunson at its June 26 board meeting,
District officials informed EdNews that they are “currently accepting applications for superintendent.”
Matt Valadao, a long-time English teacher in the school district, took over as superintendent on July 1. He replaces Kevin Lancaster, who retired.
Tyler Telford became West Side’s superintendent on July 1. Telford was the principal at West Side High since 2012, and replaces Spencer Barzee, who was hired as director of Eastern Idaho regional support services — a new position at the State Department of Education. He begins in August.
Telford’s hiring drew some scrutiny because he pleaded guilty last year to two misdemeanor theft charges — read more here.
Brian Lee, the principal at Orofino Junior/Senior High, stepped in as Nezperce’s superintendent on July 1. He replaces Shawn Tiegs, who took a superintendent position at Moscow.
Trustees selected Branden Durst to serve as superintendent. The former state superintendent’s candidate was selected over the other finalist, interim superintendent Susan Luckey. She has been with the district for more than 20 years. Durst was previously an analyst for the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
Kim Spacek, superintendent of Inchelium School District in Washington, became Mountain View’s next leader on July 1. He takes over for Steve Higgins, who retired.
David Carson, Buhl’s superintendent, took the helm on July 1. He replaces Spencer Larsen, who took a superintendent position at Minidoka County School District.
Village Leadership Academy
Current school director/lead administrator Joshua Noteboom accepted a position as federal programs director with the State Department of Education, which he began in July. His position at Village Leadership Academy is still open.
Kendal Fleshman, principal at Idaho Arts Charter, was selected as Doral’s next principal.
Patrick Goff, who was acting as interim superintendent, was officially hired for the superintendent position. He replaces Randy Thompson.
Karla LaOrange was named as Idaho Falls School District’s next superintendent.
LaOrange was the elementary education faculty program director and department chair at Brigham Young University, Idaho, and assumes her new responsibilities this summer.
“The board looks forward to working closely with the new superintendent to continue current district initiatives, address longstanding facility issues and ensure all students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to be successful beyond high school,” Margaret Wimborne, the district’s spokesperson, said in a press release.
LaOrange will replace Superintendent James Shank, who accepted a superintendent position at North Beach School District in Ocean Shores, Wash.
Spencer Larsen, who was the superintendent at Gooding School District, will take the reins of Minidoka County School District this summer.
Larsen replaces interim superintendent Rick Parker, who was filling in after “a separation agreement was reached” with former Superintendent James Ramsey.
Ryan Nesmith, the principal at Twin Falls High, is slated to become the district’s next associate superintendent.
“Being educated in the Twin Falls School District as a student, I had the opportunity to grow and learn from remarkable educators who not only had an impact on me academically, but were influential throughout my life,” Nesmith said in a press release. “I believe that the most significant thing a school district can do is to provide a quality education necessary for students to be successful in life.”
Nesmith will fill the role of Bill Brulotte, who is retiring this year.
Jared Jenks, the principal at Sugar-Salem High School, will become the district’s next superintendent this summer. He takes over for current superintendent Chester Bradshaw.
“We feel very blessed to have had the quality candidates that we did,” Kristin Galbraith, the district’s board chair, wrote to patrons in an email.
Shawn Tiegs, the current superintendent of Nezperce School District, was selected as Moscow School District’s next superintendent.
Tiegs replaces Greg Bailey, who will retire this summer after 10 years with the district.
Teresa Rensch will be the next superintendent of St. Maries Joint School District and began her tenure on July 1. She replaces Alica Holthaus, who will retire this summer after six years as superintendent.
Rensch was the principal of the Konocti Unified School District in Lake County, Calif. Prior to that, she was the district’s director of curriculum and instruction. She has also worked as a principal, assistant principal, and teacher in the Tahoe/Truckee and Chicago areas.
Kenneth Dewlin, who was the principal at Weiser Middle School, takes over as Weiser superintendent. Wade Wilson, the current superintendent, retired this summer.
Glen Croft accepted an offer to become Payette’s new superintendent. The current principal at Middleton Academy, Croft will step in for interim superintendent Brad Baumberger who retired this summer.
Christiansen was the principal at Tetonia and Victor elementary schools.
“Being named the new superintendent has brought about all emotions,” Christiansen told Teton Valley News. “I feel energized, hopeful, and ready to get to work, but I also feel a sense of sadness and loss because I love my two schools and will miss the students, staff, and parents I see every day. Being the first woman superintendent in Teton Valley will hopefully inspire all children to know that anything is possible if you work hard, do all things with passion, and follow your heart.”
Gregg Russell was named superintendent in February, one year after his appointment as interim.
Russell stepped in as interim following upheaval among trustees and the abrupt resignation of superintendent Paula Kellerer. She is now a vice president at Idaho Business for Education and leads its youth apprenticeship program.