Baker School District Superintendent Witty discusses retirement timeline and board update

By on Monday, November 22nd, 2021 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

BAKER CITY – Baker School District Superintendent Mark Witty (MW) spoke with Elkhorn Media Group News Director Shannon McKone (SM) to get an update on last weeks Baker School Board meeting.

(SM) Thank you for joining me, Mr. Witty. There was a school board meeting yesterday evening. Would you please share some highlights with us?

(MW) Thanks for having me, Shannon.  We started out the meeting by recognizing our Promise Students of the Month: Tatum Morgan from Brooklyn Primary and Promise Hughes from Baker High School.

As usual, I was so impressed and hopeful hearing from these students and those who are privileged to know them.

The board also voted to approve a refreshed mission, vision, and goals to drive the future of the district.

 The mission they approved is this: Using collaborative leadership, Baker 5J schools enhance community vitality by providing cradle-to-career opportunities across broad, integrated learning platforms for rewarding educational experiences.

And we want each learner to receive what is needed for them to succeed and reach their highest potential.

The goals identified to reach this mission involve a transparent budget process, investment in facilities, experience-based learning, an effective talent management strategy, broad partnerships, and advocacy for policies and funding that benefit the district and serve the broader community.

The Board also left one goal – an academic benchmark – to be developed by staff and discussed the process that might be used to gain extensive input in the development of that goal.

(SM) This was an important board meeting. Are there any other updates you’d like to share?

(MW) Yes, the board also discussed the upcoming leadership transition as I have announced my retirement from the Superintendent role.

We hope to advertise for a new Superintendent this winter, and announce an incoming Superintendent this coming Spring, who would join the district at the start of the 2022-23 school year. I would work alongside the incoming Superintendent at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year and transition out of the role of Superintendent between October and December of 2022, when the board and new Superintendent feel ready. This will allow the incoming Superintendent to build relationships and build a more complete understanding of Baker SD’s educational systems.

Now that we have a timeline identified, we sent out a survey to the community last Friday as one of the first steps in our search. We hope to get a good level of response!”

(SM) Thank you Superintendent Witty for taking the time to speak with me today.

The survey that was sent out can be found below:

Please take a few minutes to complete the 6 question survey and encourage others to give their feedback, as well.

Below are the links to the survey in English and Spanish:



As Witty noted above a timeline has been identified and is as follows:

Superintendent Hire Timeline 2021-22

November 18: Give notice, Approve process/timeline

November 19: Begin OSBA community survey

November 30: End OSBA community survey

December 7: Work Session 5pm; Board meeting 6pm: Identify qualifications and rubric scales

December 14: Advertise position

January 3: Second push of position advertisement

January 28: Close position

January 31- February 2: Screening

 February 3 & 4: Set up interviews

February 9 & 10: Interviews

•Interview teams to include school board and budget committee members; administrative, certified, and classified staff; as well as student leadership.

February 11-15: Background checks

February 15: Executive Session to determine final candidates

February 16: Set second interview dates

February 22-25: Second interviews for finalists

•Candidates present to the board (15-20 minutes)

•Candidates tour Baker School District with Mark Witty, Superintendent

•Candidates meet with community partners

February 28-March 3: Site visits, as necessaryMarch 10: Announce hire of new Superintendent