BANDON ─ The Bandon School District has announced the final three superintendent candidates.
One of these finalists will go on to replace outgoing superintendent Doug Ardiana, whose last day is June 30.
“I feel great about it,” said Angela Cardas, school board chair, regarding the candidates. “We’ve worked down from a total of 32 applicants for the position from all over the United States.”
Steve Kelley from the Oregon School Board Association helped the school board narrow down the applicants. Cardas added that a team of representatives, comprised of individuals from the Bandon community, school district and school board, went over candidate information which also led to the final three.
According to a press release from the district, the candidates are Allen Barber, Ryan Feefauver and Shauna Schmerer.
“…Barber has worked in the Eagle Point School District since 2007,” the release stated. “He has held a variety of roles, including middle and high school principal (and) human resource director for eight of those 14 years.”
Barber has a master’s degree in music from Western Kentucky University and received his administrative credentials from Southern Oregon University.
Keefauver currently works as principal at Irrigon Junior and Senior High School. He previously worked as the assistant principal at Hermiston High School from 2011 to 2015.
“Prior to becoming assistant principal, Keefauver was a math and science teacher at (Hermiston High School),” the release said. “Keefauver received his master’s degree in educational administration from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz.”
The final candidate, Schmerer, has been the superintendent and principal of the Almira School District in Washington state since 2007.
“Before arriving in Almira, she was a literacy facilitator for the Central Valley School District in Spokane Valley, Wash.,” the release said. “Schmerer received her master’s degrees in educational administration and school counseling from Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash.”
From here, the final candidates will undergo background and reference checks throughout the next week before arriving Thursday, April 8, for “A Day in the District.”
“The school board will split up and have lunch with them and have a 45-minute interview with each,” Cardas said. “Then (there will be) a tour of the district… In the evening, the community can meet them.”
Information about the evening meet-and-greet will be announced soon, Cardas said.
For Cardas, she is looking for the future superintendent to have a “passionate connection” with the schools and become an integral part of the community. She said her ideal finalist will “be involved in not only school activities but activities in Bandon as well, work as a team with the city and community and businesses. We don’t want the district to be a silo….”
She highlighted current issues that the school district is facing that she hopes the future superintendent will have ideas on how to tackle. These include the ongoing pandemic, as well as declining enrollment.
“(Declining enrollment) is a huge challenge for our district,” she said. “While I don’t think one person can handle that on their own or change it, it goes back to working in tandem with the city and business partners to get numbers up in general.”
Cardas said while the Bandon School District has “a lot on its plate right now,” it has benefited from having Doug Ardiana as superintendent.
“We believe we will find someone we love just as much…,” she said.