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Andy Bellando, left, the former Silver Falls School District superintendent, addresses the Dallas School Board on Monday. He will serve as Dallas’ interim superintendent for the remainder of the year.

DALLAS – After two days on the job, Andy Bellando, Dallas School District’s interim superintendent attended his first school board meeting Monday night.

He said he has visited all the schools in the district and was impressed with the preparation for the upcoming school year.

“I’ve had some great meetings with new teachers, with new classified staff members, and have had lots of great conversations in the community,” Bellando said Monday. “We are going full throttle though. There are so many great things happening.”

He complimented human resources director Dennis Engle and Juli Lichtenberger, the board secretary, for leading the district while the board searched for an interim superintendent.

 “I’m in a position now that, even after just two days on the job, to know what kind of intensity they’ve been working the last couple of weeks, so kudos to them,” Bellando said. “I look forward to continued great activity. Thank you again, you as a board, for putting your trust in me.”

Board Chairman Mike Blanchard announced Bellando as interim on Thursday morning.

“Andy retired this year after 31 years in the Silver Falls School District, the last nine serving as superintendent,” Blanchard wrote in the announcement. “He brings a background in agricultural education, building and central office leadership, and a reputation for thoughtful, collaborative leadership.”

Bellando’s contract with the district was approved on Thursday evening at a special board meeting. He will receive a salary of $12,000 per month through the term of the contract, which ends at the completion of the 2019-20 academic year.

The district will begin a search for a permanent superintendent later in the school year.

“This will be a busy year for all of us, implementing the Student Success Act, staying ahead of facilities planning, and as always keeping the focus on what is best for the kids entrusted to our care,” Blanchard said. “We cannot promise that the pace will slow or the challenges will become less difficult, but we will be there with you, doing our part to support all of our staff in this transitional time.”

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