Wednesday, November 25, 2020
School Superintendent Steps Down Seven Months Early
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Fritz Peters, in the black vest, listens as students speak at the 2019 WRMS graduation.
   
Saturday, November 14, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Wood River Middle School Principal Fritz Peters has stepped into the role of interim superintendent for the Blaine County School District following the resignation of GwenCarol Holmes.

Holmes had stated her intent earlier to serve until June 20, 2021, but instead submitted her resignation on Thursday, Nov. 12. The BCSD Board of Trustees voted 4-0 during a special mid-day meeting on Thursday to accept her resignation effective immediately.

Holmes did not provide the reasons for her abrupt departure.

 
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GwenCarol Holmes tendered her resignation as BSCD superintendent on Thursday.
 

“It has been my greatest pleasure to be a part of the BCSD team for that last six and half years,” Holmes wrote. “It has been a joy and honor to work alongside an exemplary District Leadership Team, very talented teachers, and highly dedicated classified staff who all give their very best day in and day out to ensure that ALL students master the Idaho Content Standards and beyond. I am very proud to have been a part of continuing the quest for equity as we redesign the system to serve all students.”

Board Chairman Keith Roark said the board expects that a new superintendent will be selected prior to the end of the calendar year and will take office July 1, 2021. A nationwide search has been underway since summer, conducted by the executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates.

More than 150 community members have presented their vision for a superintendent in focus groups and interviews. Holmes is the state’s highest-paid superintendent with an annual salary of $180,208.

“On behalf of the Board and all employees of the Blaine County School District I want to thank Dr. Holmes for her service and contributions to the District and we wish her well in all future endeavors,” he said.

Peters will sere as interim superintendent until the new superintendent assumes office.

“Principal Peters has for a number of years served as superintendent designee, acting in the capacity of district superintendent when Dr. Holmes was unavailable. We believe Principal Peters is eminently well qualified to lead the district in this critical period of transition and we look forward to working with him,” Roark said.

Peters has expressed no interest in the position of district superintendent beyond serving in the interim. WRMS Vice Principal Rob Ditch will assume the role of interim principal of Wood River Middle School for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

Holmes came to the Blaine County School District in 2014 from Alexandria, Va., where she was chief academic officer of public schools. She has had a rocky tenure with a civil rights lawsuit over free speech filed by two former students and a tort claim filed by a former human resources director. Some community members circulated a public petition calling for her to step down in 2019, accusing her of wasteful spending and ethical violations.


 

 

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