Meet the candidates for Central superintendent

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- The next superintendent of Central School District may be chosen on Wednesday.

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- The next superintendent of Central School District may be chosen on Wednesday.

The three finalists are in Monmouth and Independence for final interviews and "meet-and-greets" on Wednesday with district employees and community members.

Central School Board may offer the job to either Janelle Beers, superintendent of Dayton School District, Hermiston High School Principal Buzz Brazeau, or Darryl Smith, Jefferson County School District's human resources director, by the end of the day, said Traci Hamilton, board president.

Janelle D. Beers

"We're running into spring break and some people have plans," Hamilton said. "We're hoping to take time between today and March 30 for contract negotiations" with the finalist.

The school board would vote on the terms of that agreement and announce the new superintendent at its April 2 meeting.

Board members visited the candidates' home districts last week. Feedback from the public forums will figure into who's selected, Hamilton said.

"There will be surveys for comments and we will be looking at those throughout the evening," Hamilton said.

Meet the Candidates for Central Superintendent ...


Janelle Beers has been superintendent with the Dayton School District since 2004. Before that, she was principal at Obsidian Middle School in Redmond for eight years and was principal at Dillon Middle School in Dillon, Mont., for three years.

Beers taught at the middle and high school level between 1977 and 1989.

A Yamhill native, Beers said she thought the Central job was a nice next step.

"It's been a wonderful experience in Dayton, but I was looking for the next challenge," she said. "Central is bigger, but not so big that you can't get to know your community."

Beers was on the board of directors for Cascade Health Services/St. Charles Hospital in Deschutes County. She was also on the Yamhill County Commission on Children and Families.

Philip "Buzz" Brazeau

Beers noted her district mirrors Central in some ways, such as when it successfully passed a facilities improvement bond during the recession.

Beers, 56, said she's strived to maintain connections to individual schools during her time as superintendent, which can be challenging for head administrators.

"You have to work hard to keep those connections, doing lots of visitations and being involved in activities," she said. "Superintendents need to be visible."


Buzz Brazeau has worked as a teacher and principal at the high school level since 1986.

He spent seven years as a chemistry teacher and football coach at Franklin High in Portland. He moved to Medford in 1993, worked for three years as a teacher at North Medford High School, and later as an assistant principal and athletic director.

In 2004, he was hired as assistant principal at Hermiston High School. Three years later, he was promoted to principal.

"The job is about watching kids grow," said Brazeau, who played professional football for five years during the 1970s and later worked as a mortgage banker. "And at this point in my career, I think I have some things to offer Central."

Brazeau has been a member of the Umatilla County Fair Board since 2005 and is part of the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Steering Committee.

Brazeau, 62, coached football and wrestling throughout his teaching career, and stressed electives and extracurricular activities as a crucial part of the school experience.

Darryl W. Smith

He also created a forensic science course at Franklin that endured even after he left and wrote curriculum for an alternative program in Medford.

"I'm proud we haven't had to eliminate programs," Brazeau said. "Activities, athletics, those are things that bring kids to school."


Most of Darryl Smith's educational career has been in Central Oregon. He's been with the Jefferson County School District for 16 years, and spent four years in school districts based in Redmond and Prineville.

In Madras, he was assistant principal at Jefferson County

Middle School for two years, assistant principal at Madras

High School for one, and was a K-5 principal between 2002 and 2009.

He became human resources director in 2009.

"I have a pretty well-rounded experience ... I know I'm ready for the next level," said Smith, who served in the Air Force for eight years before becoming a teacher in 1992.

Smith, 50, a volunteer coach and former board member of the Central Oregon Boys and Girls Club, said that his district has similarities to Central in that both have large populations of non-native English speakers.

Smith was part of an effort in 2005 to overhaul his district's language arts curriculum in order to improve reading scores, and figured into tough budget decisions in 2006 that have spared Jefferson County severe cuts in later years.

"The superintendent and board have to be as transparent as possible with the community," he said. "You need to make sure people are heard ... and when you make a decision, that they're included in that."

Meet the Candidates

in Person

The following opportunities to meet the three finalists for the Central School District superintendent position take place Wednesday (today):

* An afternoon tea with the candidates is scheduled from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Independence Civic Center.

* A meet-and-greet with district employees will take place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Central High cafeteria.

* A community forum is set for 6 to 8 p.m. at the high school cafeteria.


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