NEWBERG, Ore. (KOIN) — The Newberg School District is in need of someone to fill its interim superintendent role and one possible candidate was asked if he would be interested in the position.
Marc Thielman, who is the superintendent for the Alsea School District, which is located 30 minutes southwest of Corvallis, confirmed to KOIN 6 News that he was asked by Newberg School Board Chair David Brown if he would be interested in the position. This was first reported by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Thielman is also a Republican candidate for Oregon governor.
“(David Brown) asked me if I would be interested, assuming they had an opening or they were able to post an opening,” said Thielman. “I said, ‘Well, that would depend on what characteristics and qualities you’re looking for because every district is looking for a different kind of leader. I don’t know if I would be a good fit or not.’ So, I don’t know exactly where they’re at in the process.”
An email obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive stated that Brown and Thielman met last October at a fundraiser for the Washington County and Oregon Republican Parties, the annual “Reagan Dinner” in Hillsboro.
Thielman told KOIN 6 News that Brown introduced himself at the event and was interested in the “no judgment culture” at the Alsea School District.
“That we teach kids how to agree to disagree, but stay in unity because we’re all Wolverines kind of approach,” he explained. “(David Brown) said there’s a lot of division and pain in Newberg. As the board chairman, his focus was on, how do we heal that? And which to me, that is pretty reasonable.”
A couple of weeks ago, Thielman said he received a call from Brown “post-superintendent vacancy” to walk him through how the superintendent search should be conducted.
“He called me… asking about what to do. I think that had to do with — obviously, they let the superintendent go, and then the central office people naturally were upset,” recalled Thielman. “He was concerned he wasn’t getting answers to his questions that he needed. So, he did what people do and he reached out to someone he thought would tell him the straight up, which I did.”
When asked if he would be interested in the position, Thielman said, “We’ll see what comes up. I got a lot on my plate right now.”
He added, “I don’t even think I’m even able to answer that question directly. I have a very good job here in Alsea. We’ve had tons of success for over a decade. Nobody walks away from that life. I’m kind of comfortable (and) happy here… So, you’re gonna read between the lines on that.”
David Brown released a statement to confirm that the process of identifying and hiring an interim superintendent has begun.
“An interim superintendent will allow for continuity, relieve some of the workload from administrators and allow the NSD board of directors to begin the process of identifying, vetting, and hiring a new permanent superintendent,” said Brown. “We are working closely with the WESD to help in the process. We are also in contact with our legal counsels to help.”
The announcement also mentioned the termination of former Newberg School District Superintendent Joe Morelock. Brown said the firing “Can be done and was done with no-cause per the contract. This means a specific reason does not have to be given for the termination of an employment contract.”
He added, “Why? Due to jurisprudence, our board is not able to give all the reasons for the process and why the decision of this importance was made. Understand that this decision was made through the lens of a brighter future. A future that includes high academic standards and performance for all students in a safe and welcoming environment.”