Selah School Board Appoints Interim Superintendent - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Selah School Board Appoints Interim Superintendent

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SELAH, Wash-- After a whirlwind of controversy and resignation the Selah School Board has named an interim superintendent. Former Superintendent Debra Howard resigned back in May. And the school board has been searching for her replacement ever since.

With a unanimous vote Wednesday night the school board choose Doctor Steve Chestnut.

Chestnut has been superintendent of the Moses Lake School District for 12 years now. Several schools in Chestnut's district were honored as "Schools of Distinction." This is one of the factors that lead board members to pick Chestnut.  

Around 15 candidates applied, the school board narrowed that down to three. One dropped out at the last minute, leaving the last two candidates. The school board president called the process nerve-racking.

"We know that there were some qualified candidates out there, but you feel much better when you've actually...have found one and you have one that has so much support," said Todd Trepanier, president, Selah School Board.

Community support is important for the school board. Students, parents and teachers rallied in support for Principal Joe Jones after he and then Superintendent Howard disagreed on his leadership style. Ultimately, Howard resigned before the end of her contract.

Chestnut will start August 1st once a contract is negotiated with the district.