Eggers takes helm at HR schools

A major step toward selection of a new superintendent will be the chief item of business in the Hood River County School Board’s first meeting of 2003.

The meeting will be the first with interim superintendent Rick Eggers, who was appointed last month following the resignation of former superintendent Jerry Sessions. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Pine Grove Elementary.

The board is scheduled to appoint the 20-member superintendent advisory committee, which will have the job of initial screening of candidates for superintendent. The district has received self-nominations from 11 people for the six citizen positions on the committee. The other positions will go to staff members and administrators.

The panel, under constraint of confidentiality, will review the superintendent candidates in early February and recommend a field of finalists for the school board to interview in March. The position has been advertised and the closing date to apply is Jan. 27.

Eggers will serve as lead administrator through June 30, when the new superintendent is scheduled to start work.

“I’m excited about this. It’s a professional challenge,” said Eggers, who is in his fourth year as assistant superintendent of Hood River schools.

Eggers will not be replaced as assistant during his six-month stint, but the board did approve a part-time hiring to assist Eggers and assistant superintendent Marcia LaDuke. Susan Henness, an administrator with Regional Educational School District, will work two days a week for Hood River County School District.

Henness will take some of LaDuke’s responsibilities in curriculum, and LaDuke will take some of Eggers’ personnel duties. With contract negotiations on the horizon, Eggers said it was important for familiar faces to handle personnel issues rather than shifting those duties to someone new.

Eggers said he and LaDuke and Henness are in the process of discussing the exact division of duties, and he plans to make a presentation to the board later in the month.

For his part as interim superintendent, he said, “You have to be visible, you have to provide appropriate counsel to the board, and provide a format to accomplish things.”

Eggers said he has met individually with all the district’s administrators and “everyone has been very supportive” of his appointment.

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