TWIN FALLS — Brady Dickinson will be the new Twin Falls School District superintendent.
School trustees made the announcement during an April 3 morning meeting. Dickinson will start on the job July 1.
Dickinson, who’s currently director of operations and educational technology for the school district, has worked for the district for more than 22 years.
He started his career as a social studies teacher in 1995 at Robert Stuart Middle School. He was Canyon Ridge High School’s first principal and helped to open three new schools funded by a nearly $74 million bond voters passed in 2014.
“I’m honored to be entrusted in this position,” Dickinson said during the meeting.
Dickinson said the intense application and interview process truly challenged him to demonstrate “that I was not just the next man up,” he said, and he had many sleepless nights.
He’ll replace current superintendent Wiley Dobbs, a 1976 Twin Falls High School alumnus, who has led his hometown public schools since 2003. He announced in the fall he plans to retire Sept. 1, 2017.
Dickinson said he has big shoes to fill, and it will be a real challenge, but he’s committed to the position. Dobbs will spend a few months helping with the transition before he retires.
School board chairman Bernie Jansen told Dickinson the board has a responsibility to help him succeed.
The other two superintendent finalists were Jim Shank, superintendent at the Coupeville School District in Coupeville, Wash., and Monte Woolstenhulme, superintendent at Teton School District in Driggs.
The school district conducted a nationwide search for a new superintendent. And finalists participated in a community meet-and-greet event Friday.
School trustees received valuable feedback, Jansen said, and met in executive session Friday to negotiate an offer.
During Monday’s meeting before the announcement was made, Jansen thanked his fellow trustees for their hard work. “This has been something new and different for all of us,” he said.
There was lots of discussion, angst and sleepless nights, Jansen said, adding there were three qualified applicants to choose from.
Trustee Mary Barron said the board didn’t take the process or decision lightly. “We felt the full weight of our decision.”
Even though the district is changing its top leadership, she said, “nothing will change in the classroom.”
Parent Anna Scholes, an active school volunteer, told the Times-News she has worked with Dickinson frequently over the years through booster clubs, committees and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Magic Valley’s board.
“I’m really happy they chose him because I feel like he’s pretty giving of his time in the community, as well as at the schools,” she said.
Scholes, who has one child in high school and another who attends Northeastern University in Boston, said Dobbs is “very available.”
Even if a superintendent candidate had lots of education leadership experience, “to replace (Dobbs) with someone who didn’t have any connections in community would be really tough,” she said. “It takes time to form those relationships and Brady already has those.”
Scholes said she thinks school district officials are looking to continue along the same path paved by Dobbs and aren’t looking for any major shakeups.
Dickinson, she said, is “always very accessible and easy to work with.”