FORT HALL — The Blackfoot School District No. 55 board of trustees hired Chad Struhs as interim superintendent during its meeting on Thursday.
Struhs is currently assistant superintendent. His hiring will allow the board to conduct a search for a replacement for Scott Crane. Crane announced his retirement effective at the end of the school year.
"When he leaves, I'll step in," Struhs said.
Struhs has been assistant superintendent in the Blackfoot School District for the past five years. He spent seven years as superintendent in Aberdeen and in Cordova, Alaska.
A graduate of Lewis & Clark State College in chemistry, he earned a master's degree from Idaho State and his superintendent's endorsement from the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Originally from Southern California, he spent his high school years in St. Anthony and graduated from South Fremont. He taught chemistry and math in Soda Springs and Rigby.
He and his wife BetteSue have five children.
The meeting was the board's annual visit to Fort Hall.
Several patrons encouraged the board to conduct a comprehensive search for the next superintendent.
"We support looking for a candidate who is cognizant of diversity," said Roseanne Abrahamson.
"We would like to see this school district think of their minority students," said Leann Dixie Avila.
"It's crucial you explore every possible option," said Stacey Bird, who presented the board with a letter containing 70-80 signatures.
"We need a superintendent who is broadminded and not from this area," said Wes Edmo.
Several of the patrons also questioned why Zone 1's boundaries were changed recently. That issue is of particular importance now because there's a recall election involving Zone 1 trustee Pete Lipovac scheduled in August.
In other action the board:
* approved operation of the food service program in the 2012-2013 school year.
* approved the Impact Aid statement of compliance.
* approved requests for bids for paper, general school supplies and replacement computers for the 2012-2013 school year.
* approved refinancing of 2001 general obligation bonds. The bonds have four years remaining. The move will save the district approximately $30,000 because of a lower interest rate.
The next board meeting is scheduled May 17.