The Hermiston School District has not yet finalized a decision about how they will fill the superintendent role vacated last month.
At a meeting on Sept. 10, board members said they were leaning toward appointing acting superintendent Tricia Mooney in the role, but that they would first hold a community forum so that Mooney could speak to members of the public about her vision for the district and the work she’s done so far.
The board will host a meet-and-greet with Mooney, at its upcoming work session on Sept. 24 from 6 to 6:30 p.m. at Desert View Elementary School, 1225 SW Ninth St., Hermiston. Mooney will discuss her background in education and with the Hermiston School District. Students, staff, parents and community members are invited to ask questions and provide feedback.
Dr. Fred Maiocco, superintendent of the Hermiston School District for the past 10 years, submitted a letter of resignation the last week of August, after informing the board that his military duty had been extended until January 2020. When he left for military duty in July 2017, he told the board he would return by January 2019.
Fred Maiocco, a brigadier general with the U.S. Army Reserves, is currently serving as the commander, 7th Mission Support Command, a forward-deployed, consequence management and civil affairs unit based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He is also the deputy commanding general for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, coordinating logistical support to U.S. forces in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
He has been previously deployed in 2011, to Kuwait and Iraq for 18 months.
Mooney was selected as interim superintendent after the board interviewed three candidates. She previously served as the district’s human resources director.
During the meeting, each board member stated how they’d like to proceed with filling the position. Five of the six members present said they were leaning toward appointing Mooney, and the absent board member, Dave Smith, submitted a written statement saying the same thing.
Board member Jason Middleton said he would like to see the search expanded to other candidates.
“You’ve done a great job,” he said to Mooney. “While we get to see the great things (Mooney) has done, a search is a way for the community to see what she has done and can do. I think going through that process is a good thing for the district.”
Board chair Karen Sherman said a search would cost the district about $10,000.
Most board members said they see the value in a broader search, but felt appointing Mooney would maintain a sense of stability in the district.
“I’ve been contacted by several people, and the concern has been stability and accountability,” Sherman said. “They feel they can be stable with the current administration.”