District 51 superintendent takes new job in Northwest

District 51 Superintendent Tim Mills was named Thursday night by the North Clackamas School District in Milwaukie, Ore., as its new superintendent.

Mills will take his new post July 1 and will serve as District 51’s superintendent until the end of June, said Jeff Kirtland, spokesman for District 51. The District 51 Board of Education will meet next week in executive session to decide its next steps in finding a replacement for Mills, he said.

Mills has been superintendent since 2003.

“Dr. Mills has served District 51 students for 21 years,” Kirtland said. “His leadership, love for education and dedication to the success of individual students has made District 51 a better school district, and he will be missed.”

Mills was in the running for the superintendent post of a district in Yakima, Wash., earlier this year. While visiting that school district, Kirtland said, Mills was approached by the North Clackamas School District.

The North Clackamas School District is 12 miles from Portland and is slightly smaller than District 51. For the 2007-08 school year, the district’s enrollment was listed at more than 17,000 students across three high schools, five middle schools, 22 elementary schools and a handful of alternative schools.

Mills will replace Ron Naso, who is retiring.

“The breadth and depth of his education experience will help us move forward with our new strategic plan for schools,” said Joan Smith, president of the Clackamas Board of Education.

“His communication skills, his ability to empower staff, and his expertise in building community partnerships will make him an excellent leader.”

Mills presided over a $109 million bond measure that voters approved in 2004 to pay for maintenance and facility update projects across the district. Last year, though, voters shot down a $185 million bond measure that would have built new schools.

Mills was given a four-year contract extension last June and a $25,000 raise, boosting his annual salary from $150,000 to $175,000, as well as a yearly raise of 3.6 percent in its next three years.

Ron Rowley, District 51 board member, said Mills was selected from a two-person local search when he was offered the superintendent position, but he didn’t know if the board would pursue a similar process in finding his replacement or conduct a national search.

Rowley said whoever is offered the post should be someone who will direct the district in similar directions as Mills.

“We will move forward in the same direction we’ve been going,” Rowley said. “We will look for someone who is interested in maintaining the direction the district has been going for the last seven or eight years.”


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