The Warrenton-Hammond School Board has made initial steps toward finding a new superintendent for next school year.

At a Thursday meeting, the board heard a presentation from Oregon School Boards Association legal, labor and employment specialist Jessica Knieling, and the five-member board agreed to search for an interim one-year replacement for current superintendent Craig Brewington. Next year, the district will search for a permanent replacement, when the pool of available applicants may be larger.

The board chose not to renew Brewington's contract earlier this month, and Board Chairwoman Linda Dugan cited a need to improve test scores and drop-out rates in the district as factors in the decision.

The 4-2 nonrenewal vote prompted the resignation of board member Jim Gannaway, and a group formed to organize a recall campaign to remove the four school board members from office, led by substitute bus driver Doug Wilson. Wilson has since suffered a heart attack, and though he's recovering, will not not continue to lead the recall effort.

Clatsop County Elections Clerk Cathie Garber said recall paperwork was submitted to her last week, but it was incomplete and has been returned to Wilson.

At the meeting, the school board chose to employ the OSBA to conduct the search for an interim, as well as a permanent superintendent, for the 2011-12 school year. The cost for both searches combined will be $6,500 but mileage and travel expenses are not included.

The board also worked to add several qualities to the qualifications list used to hire the next superintendent, including strong leadership, a proactive work ethic, solid financial management and effective communication with staff and the school board.

The board asked Knieling to contact one candidate, George Lanning, to be interviewed by the board at an April 6 executive session meeting. Lanning was most recently an interim superintendent at Lebanon Community School District, said Shannon Schelin, the board secretary.

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