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Idaho Falls School District 91 extends hiring offer to other superintendent finalist


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Dr. James Shank

IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls School District 91 Board of Trustees has extended a hiring offer to James Shank to become the next school superintendent.

Shank was the runner-up candidate during a previous search earlier this year. Last week, the district extended an offer to Eric Pingrey, an administrator from Minnesota. He initially accepted the district’s offer, but ultimately pulled out for a similar job in McCall.

RELATED | New superintendent pick withdraws D91 acceptance, goes to McCall instead

On Thursday, the board interviewed Shank again and discussed him in executive session for several hours, according to a school district news release. Afterward, board members said, “it was clear Shank’s focus is on the education of all students.” Board members also said they appreciated his focus on community outreach, transparency, as well as his interest in career-technical education.

Afterward, the board voted to extend an offer to Shank and will now begin contract negotiations with him.

Shank is currently the superintendent at Cassia County Schools in Burley. He’s also been a superintendent in Washington and Utah. Previously he was a principal in District 91 and in Aberdeen. He has a bachelor’s degree in special education, a master’s degree in educational leadership, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership.

During the board meeting, trustees touted Shank’s experience, and his desire to come back to District 91, according to the release.

If Dr. Shank accepts the offer, he will assume his new responsibilities sometime this summer. Outgoing superintendent George Boland announced his retirement late last year after a 40-year career in education. He will officially retire at the end of the current school year.

RELATED | Idaho Falls School District 91 Superintendent George Boland announces retirement

“The board looks forward to introducing Dr. Shank to the community, and to working closely with him to continue current district initiatives, and accomplish our mission of graduating all students with the knowledge, skills, and attributes they need to be successful beyond high school,” the board said in the release.