On Tuesday, the RCS Board of Education approved Stroder’s contract by a vote of 5-0.
Stroder, who participated in Tuesday’s meeting via conference call, will take over for Rebecca Isaacs, who is retiring at the end of June after nine years at the helm.
Most recently Stroder had been superintendent in Grand County, Utah, since 2017. From 2012-17, he was superintendent at Gardiner School District in Montana; from 2009 to 2012 he was superintendent at Ingram Independent School District in Texas; and from 2004-09 he was superintendent of the Camas County (Idaho) School District.
“Inheriting an absolutely phenomenal district”
“We think we’ve found a place to live, so we’re just excited and ready to get going,” Stroder told the board. “Thank you. I’m honored and I’m extremely flattered and looking forward to working with you guys.”
Board members and other participants in the meeting communicated by phone rather than meet in person due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Isaac said she probably had the biggest smile of anyone during the phone call to get the new director selected and ready to take over. The process was delayed two months due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
“I want you to know that pre-pandemic I could have told you that this would have been the smoothest transition in public school history. But none of us could have anticipated this,” Isaacs told Stroud. “But you are inheriting an absolutely phenomenal district, and (modestly) this board is OK also. I think you’re going to be just fine.”
Director of schools update
“Our staff has done an amazing job in supporting students in all respects during incredibly trying times for all of us,” Isaacs told the BOE. “At this point final grades have been submitted. Report cards are ready to be passed out to students next week. Teachers are focusing this week on getting their classrooms buttoned up and just really focusing on some fun enrichment activities with kids as we move forward between now and (the last day of the school year) May 22. Most of that will be done electronically.”
Isaacs said the consolidated student feeding program conducted with Hawkins County schools will end next week and the Of One Accord ministry’s Lunch Box program will take over summer feeding for students.
In other business, the new air unit in the 1970s wing is completed and working and humidity should be noticeably reduced.
Project engineer John Kenney stated in his report that although the COVID-19 crisis wasn’t an original justification for the project, the new unit will provide “good dry, filtered ventilation which has been shown to be beneficial in fighting airborne viruses as well.”