Newberg’s Brandy Penner blasts ‘rushed move’ for new supt

Education

Newberg fired Dr. Joe Morelock without cause on November 9

NEWBERG, Ore. (KOIN) — In a meeting to discuss both an interim and full-time superintendent Tuesday night, the Newberg School Board couldn’t agree on how to go forward.

The discussion was necessary after a 4-3 vote to fire Dr. Joe Morelock without cause on November 9.

Representatives from recruiting agencies said they could help the district put a new superintendent in place as early as January 2022.

One recruiter laid out timelines for both a rapid search and a traditional longer search said if the board goes through with the traditional process it would mean Newberg could be without a school superintendent until July 2022.

Board member Brandy Penner, who 3 weeks ago called Morelock’s firing “the shadiest process ever,” didn’t hold back on her feelings Tuesday about the proposed process to find his replacement.

“This is first time I’ve ever heard of a compressed superintendent search and I am blown away at the lack of transparency and community involvement,” Penner said. “I don’t even know why we would be considering such a rushed move. Clearly somebody has a timeline in mind for this and there’s a reason they’re trying to get somebody in by mid-January. I think it’s absolutely possible but do I think it will be a viable candidate? No I do not.”

A recruiter also suggested the board created a subcommittee made up of no more than 3 board members to be in charge of narrowing the search to 3 candidates, who would then be interviewed by the entire board.

Penner has a problem with that.

“So, as a board we would only have a chance to review 3 candidates for a permanent superintendent position?”

No decisions were made Tuesday. The board has a regularly scheduled meeting for next Tuesday and said they might plan a public comment session for next Thursday.

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