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Springfield names a finalist.

Byline: Susan Palmer The Register-Guard

SPRINGFIELD - A Minnesota educator with ties to the Pacific Northwest has emerged as the lone candidate to replace outgoing Springfield School District Superintendent Nancy Golden, who retires in June.

Hertica Martin, executive director for elementary and secondary education in Rochester Public Schools in Rochester, Minn., will be back in Springfield on Monday and Tuesday for a second round of interviews.

Martin was selected from a pool of 10 candidates. If the interviews next week go well, board members will visit her current district to learn more about her, district spokeswoman Devon Ashbridge said.

The Springfield board hired Greg McKenzie, a consultant with Window to Leadership, to help with the search. They also enlisted the aid of a 27- member screening committee of administrators, staff, students and community members, some of whom also sat in on the initial interviews.

Martin has a doctorate in educational leadership and change from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., a master's in education, curriculum and instruction/special education from Seattle University and a master's in elementary education from the University of the Virgin Islands.

She has roots in the Northwest, serving as the executive director for teaching and learning for the Central Kitsap School District in Silverdale, Wash., a district of almost 11,000 students.

Before working at Central Kitsap, she was the director of professional and organizational development and the director of curriculum development and implementation for Tacoma Public Schools, which has 32,000 students. Before becoming a central office administrator, she was a building principal and a special education teacher.

The fact that only one candidate surfaced during the initial search does not mean that the current interviews are a mere formality, Ashbridge said. They will give the board and district administrators a chance to get to know Martin, and for Martin to get to know Springfield, she said.

"If for some reason this isn't a good fit, the board will need to make some decisions around editing the (search) timeline," she said. "There are still options open, and they will continue their due diligence in finding a good candidate."

The school board had hoped to name Golden's successor this week. By almost all accounts, she will be a hard act to follow.

Known for working long days and attending many school functions in the evenings, Golden has been a popular leader. She also has played a key role in education reform at the state level, serving as an adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber for the first six months following his election.

Some of the changes and education initiatives Golden brought to the district prompted some observers to speculate that Springfield had become a "destination district" that would attract a broad field of highly qualified candidates, but the national trend is going in the opposite direction, according to McKenzie, the search consultant.

"Nationwide there seems to be fewer candidates for superintendent positions," he said. His contacts with other search consultants across the country all say the same thing.

"The pools are down significantly from last year and the previous year," he said. McKenzie declined to speculate on the record about why that might be.

Martin has not yet led a school district, but neither had Golden when the Springfield board hired her a decade ago.

Martin works in a district with about 16,300 students. Springfield has about 11,000.
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Title Annotation:Springfield School District; An administrator for a larger school district in Minnesota is in line to replace Nancy Golden
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 13, 2013
Next Article:A debate on deck.

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