School District Plans to Hire New Superintendent by July 1

The Canby School District has launched a survey to collect community input on its search for a new superintendent — part of an expedited plan to have a new executive in place by the end of June — when the current super, Trip Goodall, is stepping down.

The district’s Board of Directors has contracted with GR Recruiting, a nationwide educational hiring and consulting services firm, to lead the search for the district’s next superintendent.

The survey, which will be available through April 16, is part of GR’s efforts to collect input from the community to determine which qualities stakeholders would most like to see in the next superintendent.

Additional feedback opportunities will be available through virtual focus groups for parents and community members that are planned for next week — four sessions in English and one in Spanish. Details for attending those sessions are below:

April 14, 5 to 5:45 p.m. via Zoom (Spanish)

April 14, 7 to 7:45 p.m. via Zoom (English)

April 15, 5 to 5:45 p.m. via Zoom (English)

April 16, 9 to 9:45 a.m. via Zoom (English)

April 16, 12 to 12:45 p.m. via Zoom (English)

After the community survey and virtual focus groups, GR will advertise the position and begin accepting applications until May 14. The early field will be reviewed and winnowed down to the top candidates, who will be scheduled for interviews on May 25 and 26, according to the district’s timeline.

Canby Superintendent Trip Goodall listens during a meeting of the Canby School Board in February 2020. Photo by Tyler Francke.

Those selected as finalists for the position will undergo further interviews in early June. The successful candidate is also planned to be picked that month, with the goal of him or her picking up the baton from Goodall on July 1.

The district plans to provide updates on the superintendent search on its website as the process moves forward and information becomes available.

Goodall announced last month that he did not plan to seek a contract extension with Canby, and would instead be leaving the district of approximately 4,700 students after seven years.

In a statement informing the community of his decision, he called his time with the Canby School District “a highlight” of his career, and did not offer any explanation for stepping down.

In the past 12 months, Goodall had — along with the school board, administrative team and district staff — faced the never-ending challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic, along with destructive wildfires and a historic ice storm, which only further complicated the task of educating students in a distance learning environment.

Since January, Goodall had come increasingly under fire by some parents and community members arguing the school district’s reopening plans were too gradual and far too slow.

Many of those challenges were common to virtually every superintendent and school district in the state.

More unique to Canby was the apparent friction between Goodall and at least one Canby School Board member, Stefani Carlson, who filed a formal complaint against him in late January about his public response to a comment she made on social media that appeared to support politically motivated violence.

A second complaint was also filed against Goodall, while four formal grievances were lodged against Carlson — all centering around the social media post and similar alleged behavior.

After discussing the complaints in executive session during meetings in February and March, the board ultimately decided not to investigate or take further action on any of the six complaints.

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