Pomeroy hires new superintendent

Doug LaMunyan also will oversee a new adminstrative structure change.

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POMEROY — Pomeroy High School principal Doug LaMunyan will be the district’s next superintendent and K-12 administrator.

The Pomeroy School Board approved his hiring and an administrative structure change at its Thursday night meeting.

The new administrative structure calls for one person serve as K-12 principal and superintendent. Both schools in the district would then have a part-time lead teacher to fulfill other administrative responsibilities.

The board negotiated LaMunyan’s contract in executive session but it has yet to be signed. LaMunyan said his main goal is to continue the district’s record of academic success.

“We’re going to maintain our high standards and continue to produce excellent students,” he said.

LaMunyan was one of three finalists for the position. The others were Carol Dowsett, the elementary school principal and special education director in the North Lake School District in Silver Lake, Ore. and James Baldwin, the superintendent of the Alberton School District in Alberton, Mont.

LaMunyan received his bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate from the University of Idaho and began his career as a science teacher. He later moved to the Rosalia School District near Colfax, Wash., to teach math before moving to Pomeroy in 2007.

“This community is truly the nicest community, the most supportive community I’ve ever witnessed,” he said.

Compared to other districts he’s worked in, he said, Pomeroy has very few disciplinary problems. The community also is supportive of its schools, as indicated by passage of a school levy in February and a bond for the high school renovation completed in 2012, he added.

The new administrative structure change will place more responsibility on LaMunyan because he will be directly responsible for all staff in the district.

“It’s exciting, it’s challenging and it’s also scary,” he said, adding that one of his responsibilities early on would be figuring out how to delegate work to lead teachers.

Several community members have raised concerns at school board meetings about the new structure, saying a district the size of Pomeroy would be better served by having two administrators. School board members considered the change due to declining district enrollment — currently at 306 students — and developed the plan in consultation with Pomeroy teachers.

LaMunyan said concerns about the administrative structure are worth considering as the district figures out how to adjust.

“They’re something we have to keep in mind as the structure progresses,” he said, adding, “The overwhelming majority of the people that would be impacted by (the change) were in support of it.”

While he’s nervous about the challenges of his new job, LaMunyan is also looking forward to the opportunity to continue his work with the district.

“I’m so proud and humbled to be their leader,” he said.

Rachel Alexander can be reached at rachelalexander@wwub.com or 509-526-8363.

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