Reiter Heading To Independence

Oskaloosa Schools Superintendent Russ Reiter (file photo)

Oskaloosa Schools Superintendent Russ Reiter (file photo)

by Charlie Comfort

Oskaloosa, Iowa- Oskaloosa schools will soon need to begin a search for a new superintendent. According to a press release from the Independence Community School District, Oskaloosa Schools Superintendent Russ Reiter has accepted the open superintendent position in Independence. The Independence School Board had met earlier Monday evening to discuss the three final candidates for the position. The five member board was expected to meet Wednesday night, January 31, to approve Reiter’s contract with Independence, according to Independence School Board President Eric Smith. Terms of his contract, including salary, were not disclosed in the press release. Reiter will begin his new position on July 1.

In an e-mail Wednesday morning after Reiter’s hiring had been announced, Independence School Board President Eric Smith said that he is excited to be able to work with Reiter in the upcoming months.

“I am excited to get the opportunity to work with Mr. Reiter. He will bring experiences from Oskaloosa to Independence to continue our efforts to improve student achievement,” he said.

Smith also wished the Oskaloosa School District well in the upcoming hiring process for a Superintendent.

“Having completed the experience of recruiting, interviewing, and hiring a superintendent, I wish the Oskaloosa school district the best with their upcoming work. I expect the Oskaloosa schools will attract high caliber candidates,” Smith said.

Tuesday afternoon prior to the announcement of Reiter’s hire, Smith stated that the board was impressed with all three finalists for the position.

“With Superintendent Jean Peterson’s retirement at the end of this school year, the school board has the opportunity to exercise one of the primary roles of a school board: hiring a superintendent. I was very happy with how all three candidates interviewed when they came to Independence on Monday.”

Oskaloosa School Board President Shelly Herr confirmed Wednesday morning that Russ had notified the board of his new position.

“Mr. Reiter has let the board know that he has accepted an offer to be Superintendent of the Independence School District next year,” Herr said.

Herr congratulated him on his new position and said the board will discuss the process for filling Oskaloosa’s superintendent position in the coming days.

“I want to congratulate him on his new position and thank him for his 8 years of service to our district and for all that he has done to keep our district in a financially healthy position, especially during challenging times for adequate school funding. I anticipate that [the] board will meet sometime in the next few days to discuss a plan to move forward with a leadership search for our district,” Herr said.

Reiter also offered brief comments, saying he and his wife will miss the Oskaloosa community.

“I’d like to thank those staff and community members who have made working at Oskaloosa so enjoyable. We’ve made some tremendous progress in so many areas and I’m proud of the work we’ve done. We’ll miss Oskaloosa but we’re excited to start another Chapter in our lives,” Reiter said.

Reiter has served as Oskaloosa’s superintendent since 2010. He is currently in the final year of his contract with Oskaloosa. Reiter’s contract has not received an extension since 2014. His currently salary is $170,723. Prior to coming to Oskaloosa, he was Superintendent in the Mt. Ayr school district for four years. Reiter was also honored in 2010 as Green Hills AEA superintendent of the year.

The Independence school district is a smaller 3A district, compared to the Oskaloosa school district. Independence reported a certified enrollment of 1,412 students in the 2016-2017 school year, while the Oskaloosa school district reported a certified enrollment of 2,365 students.

The superintendent position in Independence became open after current superintendent Jean Petersen announced her intention to retire at the end of the present school year.

Posted by on Jan 31 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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