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Ririe School District names superintendent finalists

Education

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Damien Smith, left, Michael Jacobson and Alan Dunn

RIRIE — The Ririe School District named five finalists in its search for a new superintendent.

Candidates include the longtime former superintendent of a nearby school district, three East Idaho school administrators and a Wyoming middle school principal.

Trustees announced the finalists vying to replace outgoing superintendent Chad Williams during a board meeting Tuesday, reports The Jefferson Star. The Shelley School District last month named Williams as its new superintendent.

Trustees will interview finalists Feb. 27, according to the district’s website. The district will hold a meet and greet at 7 p.m. that night.

Finalists include:

Alan Dunn

Dunn served as superintendent of the neighboring Sugar-Salem School District for 13 years. He announced his retirement from the district in October 2017.

Dunn has been an elementary school teacher in Utah and principal in the Madison School District. He worked as West Jefferson’s superintendent for three years before being hired at Sugar-Salem.

Throughout his career, Dunn was active with the Idaho Association of School Administrators, an organization of administrators and other education-policy advocates. He had served as the IASA’s president.

In November 2017, the Idaho Public Standards Commission formally reprimanded Dunn for instructing his staff to falsely report that all of Sugar-Salem’s teachers earned identical scores on their evaluations.

Michael Jacobson

Jacobson is the superintendent and principal of the 48-student Swan Valley Elementary School, in Irwin. The K-8 school is about 45 miles east of Idaho Falls. (Swan Valley high school students attend Ririe High School.)

Jacobson couldn’t be reached Friday, but his LinkedIn profile lists Idaho State University as his alma mater.  His profile lists skills in “coaching, sales, lesson planning, event management, and curriculum development.”

His profile also lists a degree in educational system administration from the University of South Dakota.

Other finalists

Ririe superintendent finalists Jeff Gee, Brandon Farris and Damien Smith could not be reached for comments about their education and professional backgrounds.

Gee is the principal at Firth High School, located 15 miles south of Idaho Falls; Farris is the principal of Wyoming-based Clear Creek Middle School; and Smith is the principal of Ririe High School.

Ririe serves about 720 students and is located about 20 miles northeast of Idaho Falls.

This story was originally posted on IdahoEdNews.org on Feb. 22, 2019.

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