Follow NWPE on:

Subscribe to RSS Feed:

NWPE Applauds West Ada’s New Superintendent for Dedication to Students and Teacher Choice
posted by: Cindy Omlin | December 17, 2015, 07:52 PM   

NWPE provided input in the hiring process when Brenda Miller, NWPE Regional Director, communicated the views of NWPE members and West Ada teachers Kim Zeydel, Idaho Teacher of the Year 2015, and Chad Arnell, to a board “listening session” focused on learning what characteristics the public wants in West Ada’s new superintendent.  Their statement informed the board of their hope that the board would hire a superintendent who honors the state’s right to work law, teacher choice, and equal access for nonunion associations to communicate with teachers.

NWPE member Shawn Exline, West Ada Teacher of the Year 2016, completed an online superintendent search survey that the school board sent out to district staff.  She noted that her ideal superintendent would:

  • shawna exline croppedhave worked not only in the classroom for a number of years but also have been a principal, district office administrator, and a  former superintendent
  • have worked in the state of Idaho and had experience with diverse economic and cultural groups
  • be collaborative, pragmatic, approachable, well-spoken, and intelligent
  • be student centered and teacher focused
  • be results oriented, and
  • continue to be responsive to the needs of the district, community, and board.

Ms. Exline attended the Meet the Superintendent Candidate forum for teachers that the board hosted with candidate Ranells.  Concerned with morale after the recent district struggles, she commented, “This has been a difficult time for our district. I am saddened by the lack of trust this board has in the people it employs. It takes all of us working together to achieve greatness with the funding we have.  What I’m concerned about as we make this next move is, how will you work with the board and also with our stakeholders to help us heal and move forward?”  Dr. Ranells responded, “Most important in my heart is always kids. If that’s true, then the second most important thing is (sic) my heart is classroom teachers. In order to move forward, that has to be the focus.”

kim zeydel headshotWhen Dr. Ranells became a top tier candidate, another community forum was held in order to introduce her to patrons and offer them the chance to question her.   Ms. Zeydel who teaches in an alternative school, commented at the meeting, “West Ada School District has three alternative high schools and two alternative middle schools. What are your views on alternative education and how would you like to see it implemented in this school district?”

Ms. Zeydel was pleased to learn that “Dr. Ranells has experience in alternative education and realizes that different students learn at different paces and in different ways.”  She was able to talk with Dr. Ranells before the meeting and discovered her passion for kids.  Ms. Zeydel reported, “Dr. Ranells wants to see all students succeed and praised the West Ada staff for the great work they are doing.  She realizes the staff is always looking for ways to improve the education of our students.”

NWPE Regional Director Brenda Miller addressed the board and Dr. Ranells at the community forum as well.  She took the opportunity to compliment Dr. Ranells on her dedication to equal access, teacher choice, and the free marketplace of ideas when she was superintendent of Lakeland School District stating:

Madame Chair and trustees, thank you for the opportunity to speak.  I’m Brenda Miller, Regional Director for Northwest Professional Educators. Mrs. Ranells, it’s a pleasure to meet you.  I would like to thank you for your dedication to equal access and teacher choice in professional associations when you were superintendent of Lakeland School District.  We hope you will bring that same commitment to the free marketplace of ideas to West Ada.
Like you, Northwest Professional Educators promotes collaboration and academic excellence.  We provide a positive voice for educators focused on students as their highest priority.  Our members look forward to working with you should you become West Ada’s next superintendent.  Merry Christmas and thank you!

After the forum, Ms. Miller had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Ranells and her family.  Robyn Ann Deming, Dr. Ranells’ daughter, teaches at Teaching World, a private preschool/kindergarten school in Nampa, ID, and was pleased to learn about NWPE.

Upon hearing of Dr. Ranells’ hiring, Ms. Exline noted, “Dr. Mary Ann Ranells would have been a tough candidate to beat. I am very pleased with the board's choice. I've had the opportunity to work with Dr. Ranells before and her ‘can do’ spirit and passion for education is just what West Ada needs.”   Ms. Zeydel was also pleased. “She will be a great addition to our district.  Hopefully, she will be allowed to lead our district to be even better than it is right now.”

NWPE congratulates Dr. Ranells and the West Ada School District.  We wish both a very satisfying and productive relationship focused on what is the best for the students of the West Ada School District as well as a robust marketplace of ideas that respects teacher choice and freedom of association.

Comments (0)Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.