Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Blaine County School District Narrows Superintendent Search
The Blaine County School District hopes to decided who to entrust its schoolchildren to some time in January.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020


One has served as superintendent of the McCall-Donnelly School District, which perennially performs in the top 10 percent of school districts in Idaho.

The other is from New Mexico and is passionate about celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity.

James Foudy and Heather Sanchez are the two finalists for the superintendent position up for grabs in the Blaine County School District.

The school board had considered 27 applicants from 15 states. It conducted interviews with five semi-finalists on Dec. 9 and 10.

The two will visit the district in January to meet with the community, tour the schools and speak with administrators, teachers and trustees. The school board will take public comment following those visits and hopes to make its selection sometime in January. The new superintendent will assume office on July 1, 2021.

  • Foudy began his career with the Boise School District in 1996 as an elementary teacher. In 2003, he became an administrator with the McCall-Donnelly School District as the elementary principal for Donnelly and McCall Elementary Schools. Since 2015, he has served as superintendent of the McCall-Donnelly School District.

    In 2004, as elementary principal, Foudy established a K-5 reading intervention system that included a full-day kindergarten model, which ended up contributing to a foundation of high academic achievement.

    From 2015 to 2018 he worked with a local facilities team, students and staff at McCall-Donnelly's alternative school to design and construct a facility that serves students at Heartland High School today. The permanent facility was designed with extensive input from students.

    Foudy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Boise State University, a Master of Educational Administration from the University of Idaho and an Education Specialist, Education Leadership degree from UI.

    In his spare time, Foudy and his wife, Alison, love spending time with their children, friends and family in the mountains. They enjoy the four distinctive mountain seasons, traveling and the arts—his wife has a passion for art history.

    “It would be an honor for me to serve and work with our colleagues in the Wood River Valley,” he said. “Blaine County has a long and proud history of innovative practices that meet the needs of students and families. I feel called to support that continued effort."

  • Sánchez has served in pre-K to12 public education for more than 20 years and has served in a variety of roles, including classroom teacher, program coordinator, instructional specialist, building principal and central office administrator.

She currently serves as an executive director of schools for the Bellevue School District in Bellevue, Wash., where she provides support and supervision for nine schools, as well as being responsible for implementation of key components of the district’s strategic plan. She regularly partners with families, school staff and community members to ensure improved outcomes for all students.


Sánchez previously served as a director of accelerated programs, choice and innovation, where her focus was on improving access to outcomes for a wide variety of K-12 accelerated programs, including GATE, Advanced Placement and Early College in the High School. She has also served as an elementary building principal for a diverse range of schools that included Dual-Language, Title I Services and STEM programs.

She has a B.S. in Secondary Education from Western New Mexico University, an M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction and K-12 Principal Credential from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a K-12 Superintendent Credential from Seattle Pacific University. She is completing her Ed.D. degree from Seattle Pacific University.

Sanchez and her husband César, a high school science teacher, have three children. They’re avid skiers and also enjoy camping, hiking, biking and fishing.

“It is very clear to me this district is a very special place with a dedicated and supportive community that is positioned to achieve even greater levels of excellence for students,” she said. “I am committed to working relentlessly toward this goal and am thrilled to have the opportunity to spend some time getting to know the community very soon.”


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