Soderman leaving top Douglas schools post next year
Douglas County School District Superintendent John Soderman is scheduled to retire after the 2005-06 school year along with Director of Business Services Rick Kester with replacements picked by the school board by April 30.
Soderman has held the top post in the district since September 2001 when he assumed interim duties after Pendry Clark left for a superintendent position in the Bay Area. Although the district hired a search firm, Soderman was chosen and officially hired in March 2002.
Soderman, on vacation in Montana, said it was time to “pursue other personal and professional interests” after 30 years with the district in positions from elementary teacher to principal to assistant superintendent to superintendent.
Describing his time as both intense and great, Soderman said he always planned to give the board a year’s notice when he decided to retire.
Both Soderman and Kester are scheduled to be with the district until June 30.
“You couldn’t ask them to exit in a more graceful and thoughtful manner,” said Sharla Hales, president of the district’s board of trustees.
Kester has been with the district for 27 years after a few years playing professional baseball. He planned to retire earlier and simply said it’s “time to move on.”
“I’ve truly enjoyed all my years with the school district,” Kester said. “It’s been challenging, it’s been fun and I hope I served them well.”
Fellow member Cindy Trigg, who represents the Lake Tahoe portion of Douglas County, was surprised when she first heard the news about Soderman’s retirement. She confessed she has mixed emotions about finding his replacement.
“It is rather daunting but at the same time you have to look at it as something exciting,” she said.
Hales said it’s too early to determine whether the board will hire a search firm to find the next superintendent.
“They’re both great in their realms and they’re both going to be missed,” Hales said.
– E-mail William Ferchland at email@example.com
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