Douglas schools make a move |

Douglas schools make a move

by Andy Bourelle

The replacement for the Douglas County School District’s retiring assistant superintendent for personnel does not have to come from far away.

In fact, he already works in the same building as retiring George Mross, and the assignment technically isn’t even a promotion – it’s a lateral move.

Assistant Superintendent of Education Services John Soderman will become assistant superintendent for personnel, when Mross’s retirement becomes effective Aug. 1.

The Douglas school district approved the move at last night’s meeting.

“I’m excited about it,” Soderman said. “I think it will provide some interesting challenges.”

Mross – after 36 years with the school district, 19 as assistant superintendent for personnel – announced his retirement in August. Soderman admits those are “big shoes to fill.” However, he’s been with the school district more than 20 years.

After graduating from college at the University of Nevada, Reno, and one year of experience in Eureka County, Nev., Soderman first worked for Douglas County the 1976-77 school year as a teacher at Carson Valley Middle School. In 1979, he moved to C.C. Meneley Elementary School, where the taught fifth grade for five years.

Soderman worked for the district’s Professional Development Center after that, until 1987 when he became principal of C.C. Meneley.

He stayed there for nine years, until becoming assistant superintendent of education services.

Soderman said he sees this new move as another opportunity to help the school district.

“I love being in education. It’s fun, it’s challenging, it’s rewarding,” Soderman said. “It’s been a great career challenge. I see this as just another opportunity to do something different in a career I really enjoy.

“I think we have a quality district. I think we’re right on the threshold of doing great things,” he said. “I think our strategic plan is guiding us into the 21st century.”

For now, Soderman said he is “mentoring” Mross and learning as much about the job as possible before Mross leaves.

Soderman estimated the school district would be able to find a replacement for him by sometime in September.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, the school board presented Mross with a clock, and trustees and the meeting’s attendees gave him a standing ovation.

“Although I think John Soderman, who was just appointed, will do a terrific job,” said Superintendent Pendery Clark at the meeting, “I don’t believe we’ll ever be able to replace George.”

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