Glen Szymoniak is the superintendent of the Klamath County School District. The KCSD Board of Directors unanimously approved a three-year contract with Szymoniak during a special meeting earlier in 2019.
Klamath County was high on his list of places him and his wife wanted to be. The school board went through an extensive process to located a new Klamath County School District Superintendent and Glen Szymoniak was the most qualified.
“The process which established the qualities and qualifications, we had a great match,” said John Rademacher, school board chairman. “It led us to Glen Szymoniak.”
In September, Superintendent Greg Thede announced he would retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year. In October the board began the process of finding the next leader of the KCSD. Working with Steve Kelley, Oregon School Boards Association, the board laid out and followed a process of public input, a nationwide search, receiving applications, convening a selection committee, conducting interviews, completing background checks and Szymoniak touring the district.
“The board followed the process that was put in place from the very beginning,” said Board Vice-Chair Denise Kandra. “We never wavered from that. We are extremely happy with the outcome.”
“The Klamath County process was the most thorough process I’ve seen anybody use,” Szymoniak said.
Through three public input meetings in November, staff input sessions at schools, and an online survey, the board determined qualities and qualifications outlining what the next superintendent should look like. The board received eight applications for the position, which is reviewed with a 19-member selection committee.
“It involved a good cross-section of the community, between teachers, administrators, classified employees, and the public,” said committee member Renèe Ferguson, KCSD director of business services. “It was very comprehensive.”
“The way our committee was laid out and the process was very methodical,” said committee member Ray Holliday, owner of Holliday Jewelry. “I really liked it. It was very effective in determining who the best candidates would be.”
“The process the school board followed to select Mr. Szymoniak allowed for substantial stakeholder input,” said Beth Clark, Stearns Elementary principal and committee member. “I appreciate the time, effort, and careful consideration that the board took to choose the right candidate for the Klamath County School District.”
Szymoniak stood out in the initial five candidates chosen for interviews, and the three finalists. Though two of those finalists withdrew their applications, that did not diminish Szymoniak’s qualifications.
“He was a top choice for me,” Ferguson said. “Glen was a good fit for our district.”
“I think he’s a great choice. I was really happy when I saw him making it through each step of the way,” Holliday said. “He seemed very honest and genuine. What you see is what you get.”
“Mr. Szymoniak is a good fit for KCSD because he has a depth of experience that will help him support our diverse district,” Clark said. “He has a student-first perspective that will help us continue and grow the wonderful work we do in the Klamath County School District.”
Szymoniak is the interim superintendent of the Dillingham City School District in Alaska. He was previously superintendent in Barrow, Alaska, and McCall, Idaho. He spent most of his career in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula school district, where he worked his way up to assistant superintendent. That district has 10,000 students in 23 communities and 45 schools, similar to the KCSD, which has 6,500 students in 21 schools.
“I think it’s a really good match to the background I have,” Szymoniak said. “One of the things that impressed me is the number of people who have grown up in the area and work in the school system. They’re committed to making sure we have the best school system possible.”