The Times 

Prescott, Starbuck Superintendents respond to quote that they are non-certified.


March 31, 2022

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Justin Bradford and Gerry Grubbs

PRESCOTT-After the recent administrative restructuring at the Dayton School District, an attendee at the March 16 Dayton School Board meeting suggested the district hire a non-certified superintendent. As an example, she offered that the Prescott and Starbuck school districts have non-certified superintendents.

"That is incorrect on both accounts," Prescott School District (PSD) Superintendent Justin Bradford clarified. "I'm not sure where they got that information or quite what they meant."

Bradford was hired as superintendent for the PSD in 2020 and said he holds a BA in Political Science, an MA in Educational Leadership, a teaching credential in Special Education, and principal certification.

"In Washington Public School, the superintendent position is the only one with no requirements, and it is the only position that school boards actually hire," Bradford shared with The Times. "All other hires are just approvals based on the superintendent's recommendation."

Bradford said that most superintendents of Washington Public Schools are certified teachers and administrators. They have gone to the necessary schools, completed an approved certification program, and hold at least a BA or BS degree, but most have an MA or MS degree, with some holding doctorate degrees. He noted that some have a Superintendent Certification, and while it isn't a state requirement, Washington public school districts can require it.

Gerry Grubbs, Starbuck School District Superintendent, said that he holds a bachelor's degree from Linfield College, where he also received his Social Studies teaching certificate. He later attended Heritage College, where he received his principal certification. Currently, he is in a two-year WSU Field-Based Superintendent program, which he will finish in April.

Both Bradford and Grubbs said that occasionally districts would hire professionals, including, engineers, lawyers, or accountants when a particular need arises. However, superintendents are generally educators.

Bradford said that hiring a superintendent without a background in education may save money, but navigating the challenges of a superintendent's position could be extremely difficult for someone with no experience.


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