School district beginning search for new chief

·2 min read

Nov. 22—The Baker School Board hopes to hire a new superintendent in March 2022.

The board discussed a timeline for its superintendent search during its meeting Thursday evening, Nov. 18.

Mark Witty, who has been superintendent since July 1, 2015, retired through the Oregon Public Employees Retirement system on July 1 of this year but agreed to continue working.

This arrangement — continuing to work for a public agency after retiring — is possible for members of the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). They can begin to receive their pension benefits while still receiving a salary from a public employer.

In announcing his decision in June 2021, Witty said he was willing to work up to two more years as superintendent.

Under the schedule the board approved Thursday, the school district will solicit comments from the public, through an online survey running through Nov. 30, about what residents consider the most important qualifications for the new superintendent.

The survey is available at

The district plans to start advertising the job Dec. 14, with a closing date of Jan. 28, 2022.

The schedule also includes:

—Feb. 9-10, 2022 — interviews with candidates.

The interview teams would include school board and budget committee members, representatives from the district's administrative, certified (teaching) and classified (nonteaching) staff, as well as student leadership.

—Feb. 11-15 — background checks of candidates.

—Feb. 15 — school board to meet in executive session (closed to the public) to determine list of finalists.

—Feb. 16 — set dates for second interviews with finalists.

—Feb. 22-25 — second interviews with finalists. Candidates would make a presentation to the board, tour the district with Witty, and meet with community partners.

—March 10 — announce hiring of new superintendent.

The tentative plan calls for the new superintendent to start work at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, said Lindsey McDowell, the school district's public information and communications coordinator.

Witty would work with the new superintendent to start, and then fully retire later in the school year at a time agreed on by the new superintendent and the school board.

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