First of two superintendent candidates to meet community tomorrow

Second candidate meets with community Thursday

— The community, students and staff at Prosser School District has a chance to meet with each of the two finalists for the superintendent position.

Matthew Ellis, a Prosser native and current superintendent of the Ritzville-Lind School District, is in town tomorrow, March 6, for a day with students, staff and community members.

Dr. Mary Templeton, executive director of human resources for Spokane Public Schools, will visit Thursday, March 8.

Each of the visits includes a 6:30 p.m. community meeting in the Prosser High School library.

“Ellis is a hometown Prosser boy,” Prosser School Board President Peggy Douglas said in an interview.

She said there were 16 candidates from which the School Board narrowed the finalists. “All 16 were really good candidates,” Douglas said.

The candidates who applied for the position were from Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Washington state.

“It was a really good, solid pool of applicants,” Douglas said.

Ellis, prior to his current position, was the principal at Royal High School. He was assistant principal at Pasco High School and earned his certification to be a principal in 2012. He obtained superintendent certification from Washington State University five years later.

Ellis began a career in education teaching social studies at Grandview High School. He graduated with a Masters of Arts in education at University of the Cumberlands in 2007 after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in history in 2005.

Templeton earned a Bachelor degree at the University of Oregon in 1989. She began teaching German at Atwater High School in Atwater, Calif. in 1992.

In 1998, she began teaching German and English at Post Falls High School in Idaho and took a position at Lewis Clark High School in 2000.

Templeton obtained a Masters degree at Eastern Washington University six years later, and in 2017 earned a doctorate in educational leadership at Washington State University.

“The School Board read everything,” Douglas said of the selection process.

Reference checks were completed by an outside recruiter and the School Board was presented with the names of three individuals believed to be the strongest candidates, Douglas said.

Those three were interviewed in a special meeting Feb. 28 under observation by 20 community members invited to serve as an observation panel, Douglas said.

“It’s a strong statement about Prosser,” she said of having to choose from so many candidates.

The two finalists, Douglas said, are strong leaders.

“They have strong skillsets that would enhance and help our schools move forward,” she said. “Either will make a fine leader.”


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