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Gregg Russell appointed as Nampa School District interim superintendent

Russell was appointed interim superintendent Saturday following Paula Kellerer's resignation announced Feb. 4. NSD said the change takes effect immediately.

NAMPA, Idaho — Following the resignation of former Nampa School District (NSD) superintendent Paula Kellerer Feb. 4, the Nampa Board of Trustees appointed Gregg Russell as interim superintendent during a special session Saturday afternoon. 

According to NSD's press release, the Nampa Board of Trustees also accepted Kellerer's resignation Saturday. Russell's title as interim superintendent takes effect immediately. 

The board also accepted Zone 2 trustee Mike Kipp's resignation at Saturday's meeting after he announced his decision to resign Jan. 28. 

NSD said Nampa trustees declared a vacancy for Kipp's former Zone 2 seat and information on how to apply for that seat will be shared at a future date.

Credit: Nampa School District
Gregg Russell

From KTVB's news partner the Idaho Press on Kellerer's resignation published Friday, Feb. 4:

Kellerer, who assumed the role of superintendent in 2017, cited a division between her and the school board that widened as the COVID-19 pandemic persisted and eroded a "vision that puts children first."

"A district’s educational vision must supersede personal interests, politics, and ideologies," Kellerer wrote. "Sometimes, however, values and deeply held individual beliefs are too far apart. When that occurs, it creates division and prevents a district from effectively focusing on the important work of student achievement.

"When this happens, change needs to occur and a mutual separation is needed."

Prior to coming to the Nampa School District, Kellerer served as dean of the College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Northwest Nazarene University. She previously served as a program director, chair of the Department of Education and dean of the School of Education, Social Work and Counseling. Before that, she was assistant superintendent for the Nampa school district from 2004-10.

"My prayer is that the new Board of Trustees will take the time for professional development," Kellerer wrote. "In today’s world, school board members face a myriad of legal, policy, and academic requirements that go beyond what the average person realizes or understands."

From KTVB's news partner the Idaho Press on Kipp's resignation published Feb. 1:

“I am stepping down because I am weary (and) tired...due to the toll this service has taken on my family and me,” the letter reads. The resignation was effective on Jan. 31.

“Being in a place where people are very upset about the decisions you’re making, it weighs very heavily on you and people have at times been pretty unkind to my family and me,” Kipp told the Idaho Press by phone. “And after a while that just gets you to where you just don’t want to deal with that anymore.”

Kipp approached his role enthusiastically, using the skills at his disposal, the letter said.

“However, at some point along the way, it felt as if the arguments about a global pandemic (and even its legitimacy) had diminished our focus on student achievement,” the letter said. “That was discouraging and even demoralizing.”

In January, three new school board members were sworn in — Tracey Pearson, Brook Taylor, and Jeff Kirkman — all of whom ran on platforms of parent’s choice when it comes to masking and parents having a say in what their children learn in school on topics such as race and social emotional learning.

Information in this article on Kipp and Kellerer's resignation announcement's originally appeared in the Idaho Press. Read more on IdahoPress.com.

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