POST FALLS — The search to find longtime Post Falls School District Superintendent Jerry Keane’s replacement has narrowed to three finalists: Trina Caudle, Dena Naccarato and Jeff Dillon.
The Post Falls School Board selected the finalists during a meeting Friday and made the announcement Monday after communicating with the contenders that they made the final round.
The search began last summer.
Board Chair Dave Paul said the board received applications from about 20 individuals before deciding on the top three. Applications came from as far away as Iowa, he said.
“Jerry’s been in the district for close to 40 years, close to 20 as our superintendent, so it’s a huge responsibility on the part of the board to find a replacement for someone who’s been in this position and done such a great job as Jerry has done,” Paul said Monday.
Caudle has been the assistant superintendent of secondary education and curriculum for the Coeur d’Alene School District since 2014. She supervises the district’s middle schools and high schools, professional-technical programs and other secondary education programs such as school improvement plans, accreditation, counselors and advanced learning. She also oversees the district’s curriculum, assessment and system performance, health services and mental wellness programs.
Naccarato is the superintendent of secondary programs for the Post Falls School District. She worked for six years as the principal of Post Falls High School and four years as vice principal prior to that. Naccarato also previously taught for six years at Lakeland High School, two at Lakeland Junior High and two at Centennial High in Meridian.
Dillon is presently the Wilder School District superintendent in Wilder, a town of just more than 1,700 in the Boise area. In 2001 he began teaching middle school science and reading in a Title 1 district. In 2007 he began working as elementary principal and Title 1 director for the Wilder School District. He was hired to lead the Wilder School District as the district’s superintendent of schools in December 2012.
“The board’s done a nice job reaching out trying to find the best candidate. They’re all highly qualified,” Keane said.
He said that with the superintendent search almost complete, “it’s strange for sure. It really makes my retirement a little more real,” but he’s pleased the district will be in qualified hands once he retires.
“They’re quality people,” he said. “I’m happy for the district. They have three great candidates.”
The board of trustees will conduct interviews with the candidates on Jan. 28. Trustees will also host a “meet and greet” with the candidates that evening at 6 in River City Middle School, 1505 N. Fir St., Post Falls. Staff, parents and community members are invited to visit with the candidates at that time.
The board plans to meet later that week to discuss the interviews and possibly make a selection. The appointment is expected to be made in March and the new superintendent will officially begin on July 1.