Update: Mercer Island Schools Chief Considers Move

MISD Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano was identified as a finalist to serve as superintendent of schools in Ashland, Oregon.

Update, 11:30 a.m.:

Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano gave Mercer Island Patch a copy of the email send to school district staff members. Here's the content of the full email, unedited:

Dear Mercer Island Staff and Community,

Some of you know that two years ago, I built a second home in Ashland, Oregon, expecting to retire there one day. As fate would have it, the Ashland Superintendent position opened, and I applied for consideration of being Ashland's next Superintendent. I learned late this afternoon that I am one of three finalists for the job.

I have always wanted to live in Southern Oregon and couldn't pass up an opportunity to work and live in a community that I have grown to love. Next week two Ashland School District board members will be making a site visit here. Following that visit, the interview process will involve community and staff in Ashland. Because the interview process is now a very public one, I wanted you to hear the news directly from me.

I extend my deep appreciation to you and especially to the Mercer Island School District's Board of Directors, for all you do in making this a great school system. I'm sure the next two weeks will bring excitement and anticipation. I will keep all of you appraised as I move through the process.

I am now experiencing first hand one of my core beliefs about education. That is, taking risks to pursue dreams and passions, and I am taking such a risk. Thank you for all you do to support  Mercer Island's future- our incredible students.

Gary Plano, Ed. D. Superintendent


Original Story: Mercer Island School District's top administrator since 2008 is considering a move to Ashland, OR to serve as that city's schools superintendent, according to the Mercer Island Reporter.

According to the report, MISD Superintendent Gary Plano told school district staff via email Thrusday evening that he is a finalist for superintendent of schools in Ashland, OR, where Plano has a second home.

The Ashland School District publicly announced Friday that Plano, 60, is one of three candidates; the other two are William McCoy, current superintendent of Red Bluff Union School District (CA), and MD) (click on the link to read about Munk on Rockville Patch).

Ashland school board members will conduct interviews at the current sites of all three candidates and then take a vote on their selection scheduled for Feb. 18. The selection will be made public the following week.

Plano came to the Mercer Island School District in 2005 as associate superintendent for instruction and replace Cyndy Symms, who took a school administration position in California.

Plano previously worked for five years as the Kent School District's executive director for school improvement and executive director for instructional services, according to the Seattle Times.

A Connecticut native, Plano started his career as a special-education teacher in Mukilteo in 1980 and went on to teach high-school English until 1997. He served as Mukilteo's curriculum director from 1997-2000.

Marty Gale February 01, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Who will be acting superintendent if Gary Plano gets an offer from the Ashland School District and accepts it?
Kendall Watson February 01, 2013 at 08:40 PM
I understand that Mark Roschy is the current Assistant Superintendent, along with the other hats that he wears (one of them is MISD human resources director).
Ray Burt February 21, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Looks like Dr. Plano is staying: http://www.mi-reporter.com/news/192309401.html
Venice Buhain February 21, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Thanks, Ray!


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