CLATSKANIE — On Wednesday night, two days after former Superintendent Lloyd Hartley resigned, the Clatskanie School Board named a temporary replacement: Portland State University professor and former school administrator Jim Carlile.
“(Board member) Judy (Skirvin) and I met with Mr. Carlile yesterday for lunch,” board member Megan Evenson said Wednesday. “He’s very experienced, capable and pleasant, and we had a good discussion with him. I think he’s excited to come help us out.”
Carlile, 80, served as the superintendent for the Gresham-Barlow School District for nine years in the 1990s and has been a principal or administrator for several school districts in the area. Most recently, he served as an interim principal for St. Helens High School from September through December of last year. He was a part-time superintendent for Knappa School District from 2009 to 2011.
Carlile also has taught classes in educational administration at PSU for the past 15 years.
Evenson said Carlile will take over Hartley’s duties Thursday morning.
“I’m eager to get going and help fill in these couple of months and calm things,” Carlile told The Daily News by phone after the Wednesday meeting.
He’s taking over a district in distress. Hartley resigned over the intense conflict caused by the district’s February decision not to rehire Clatskanie High School Principal Brad Thorud, and a May 1 recall election could oust two of the three school board members who supported Thorud’s ouster. In addition, two other board members have resigned, one over the recall.
Carlile, who will commute from Beaverton, said he’s agreed to work at Clatskanie through the end of the school year and part of the summer to help finalize the district budget. During that time, the school board will decide whether to hire another interim or full-time superintendent.
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Carlile said he didn’t know the Thorud situation well enough make much of a statement or commitment one way or another.
“I’ve heard what the issues are, but among the things that I need to get going on right away is to find out as much as I can,” he said. “I’m going to talk to as many people as I can in both schools.”
Hartley, who became Clatskanie’s superintendent in 2013, signed a resignation agreement with the district Monday. The agreement states that he will continue to earn his $110,000 annual salary until Dec. 31 unless he finds a new job that pays him $75,000 a year or more — whichever comes first.
In a letter to the media sent Monday, Hartley said he planned to stick around Clatskanie to help with the transition.
“I will be looking at other options as I decide where my next steps will be,” he wrote. “I look forward to continuing to be involved in this community and making it a home to raise my children.”
Carlile said he’s prepared to jump into Clatskanie’s tense environment.
“I have a lot of experience with these kinds of issues in school districts where there’s a lot of stress and unrest,” he said. “I’m going to work as hard as I can to take care of that.”