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UPDATE 4/16/2022
Dr John Parker

CVSD School Board Selects John Parker as New Superintendent

After a week of thorough interviews – as well as staff, student, and community forum input – the board announced CVSD’s new leader


The CVSD School Board of Directors has selected Dr. John Parker as the district’s new leader. He is currently the Director of Innovation for Colegio Nueva Granada International School in Bogota, Columbia and prior to that was the Chief Academic Officer and area superintendent for Puyallup School District. The School Board voted unanimously to select him from among four candidates at the culmination of an extensive week-long process to gather feedback from students, families, staff, and community members. School Board members felt all four candidates were highly qualified. They spent hours reviewing almost 800 staff and community input surveys of what they would like to see in their next superintendent, followed by hundreds of staff, student, and community feedback forms on each of the four candidates from every forum throughout their day-long interview process this week. After this diligence and deliberation, the School Board felt that John Parker was the person to lead the district into the future.

“I would like to thank you for the vote in confidence. I am honored to be the next superintendent for Central Valley,” said John Parker. “I am really excited to hit the ground running to serve kids in the best way possible. I look forward to partner with the Central Valley School Board and each of the students, staff, teachers, parents and community stakeholders—locking arms and moving forward collectively.”

President Cindy McMullen articulated, “It was not an easy task to choose among these exceptional educational leaders. Even though it was the ultimate choice of five School Board members, we relied on input from across our diverse 80-square-mile district. We have every confidence in John Parker and the strong asset he will be to our school system. His broad, diverse educational experience and innovation stood out in the interview process as well as his clear commitment to our students and community. We look forward to working with him – collaboratively with all our stakeholders – to continue building on the good work within the Central Valley community that we all proudly call home.”

A highlight and valuable part of the selection process, Associated Student Body (ASB) high school student leaders from across the district met with each of the four candidates and shared their comments and reactions with the School Board. Each of the candidates and board members that met with the students, commented on how impressed they were with their exceptional thoughts and questions. “We have a lot to be proud of in these stellar student representatives from across all of our schools,” added President McMullen.

With a preliminary offer of employment to John Parker, the board will now begin negotiations. John Parker is scheduled to begin with the district on July 1, 2022 – following the retirement of Superintendent Ben Small on June 30 – but will most likely have meetings with the School Board and CVSD staff prior to starting the position.

John Parker comes highly recommended by Northwest Leadership Associates, the search firm that CVSD hired to assist the board with the process. The School Board agreed that it was a difficult decision among these qualified candidates and no matter who they chose would be phenomenal. They noted that John Parker would be able to step in where we are currently as a district and move us forward. They commented on his level of research into the district, relationship building skills and ability to take on issues headfirst.

UPDATE 4/4/2022


The CVSD School Board of Directors has selected four candidates to interview in the superintendent selection process: Tavis Peterson, Troy Tornow, John Parker and Oscar Harris.


The four candidates will each spend a day in the District on Monday, April 11, Tuesday, April 12, Wednesday, April 13, or Thursday, April 14. During their day’s visit, the finalists will meet with cabinet members, the leadership team, student leaders, staff groups, and community members. At the end of the day, the candidate will have a final interview with the Board in executive session and an informal gathering for dinner.


The candidate schedule is:

  • Monday, April 11 – Tavis Peterson, Wapato School District Assistant Superintendent
  • Tuesday, April 12 – Troy Tornow, ESD 123 Assistant Superintendent
  • Wednesday, April 13 – John Parker, Colegio Nueva Granada International School Director of Innovation
  • Thursday, April 14 – Oscar Harris, Spokane Schools Chief Family and Community Engagement Officer

The community is invited to attend a public forum with each candidate on the evenings of April 11, 12, 13, and 14, at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Valley High School theatre, 821 S Sullivan Road. Attendees will be given the opportunity to ask the candidates questions and provide feedback for the School Board to consider.


CVSD School Board President Cindy McMullen expressed, “All four of these superintendent candidates are exceptional educational leaders who we believe understand Central Valley’s community culture and will lead our district with integrity and strength. We look forward to spending time with each finalist as CVSD moves to select our next superintendent.”


As a reminder, Superintendent Ben Small announced at the January 10, 2022 board meeting that he would retire from Central Valley School District on June 30, 2022.

UPDATE 1/28/2022

Opportunities for Input
You can let the School Board know the leadership qualities you would like to see in the next Superintendent by attending the community or staff forums or by participating in the survey below. The input gathered from our stakeholders be used to identify viable candidates. 
Superintendent Search Input Survey
Staff, student and community input is a very important aspect in our District's search for a new Superintendent. Northwest Leadership Associates (NWLA), an educational administrator search firm that specializes in Superintendent searches, is working for the CVSD School Board to provide a comprehensive process to help find our next Superintendent. As part of the process, NWLA has put together a survey to collect input about leadership characteristics and qualities needed in the next CVSD Superintendent. Please give your input and be part of the process. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. We value your voice. (NOTE: The survey is now closed.)
What do you want to see in the next CVSD Superintendent?
CVSD Superintendent Small announced at the Monday, January 10, 2022 board meeting that he would retire from Central Valley School District on June 30, 2022 after 14 years of service. A nation-wide search for his successor has already begun. The School Board has chosen Northwest Leadership Associates (NWLA) to assist with the search for a new Superintendent.


We want to hear from you!

Please come and join the community in identifying district challenges and opportunities the next superintendent will address, as well as the characteristics needed to be our next leader.


Attend either community forum, hosted by Northwest Leadership Associates:

  • Tuesday, February 1, 6pm at Central Valley High School Theater, 821 S Sullivan Rd

  • Wednesday, February 2, 6pm at University High School Theater, 12420 E 32nd Ave

We value your input and look forward to your participation during this transition.


Staff will have separate forums on these dates to provide direct feedback to NWLA.

UPDATE 1/25/2022

At the January 24, 2022 regular School Board Meeting, the School Board reviewed three proposals and after a discussion amongst the board members unanimously selected Northwest Leadership Associates to assist in the Superintendent search for CVSD and authorized Cynthia McMullen and Jay Rowell to negotiate a contract with Northwest Leadership Associates that is substantially consistent with the proposal they submitted.

UPDATE 1/14/2022


Superintendent Small announced at the Monday, January 10, 2022 board meeting that he would retire from Central Valley School District on June 30, 2022.


The School Board held a special board meeting on Thursday, January 13, 2022 to begin discussing the process of selecting a successor Superintendent. The Board decided to request proposals from Superintendent search firms, to be returned to the District by January 21. The Board will review the proposals received at our next regularly scheduled board meeting on January 24. The Board also designated Mr. Jay Rowell as the District liaison for the Superintendent search. These are the first steps of many in the process to help identify our next Superintendent. 


A very important part of the work of the search firm we select will be to help us develop a list of leadership attributes desired in our next Superintendent. We will be seeking input directly from our staff as well as various other stakeholders. We will also include a robust community outreach plan to ensure our Central Valley community has an active voice in the process.


We know that the selection of a new Superintendent is as important to you as it is to the Board. We will keep you informed of the process along the way. We will continue to regularly update this “Superintendent Search” page on our web site with timelines and information regarding the School Board’s Superintendent selection process.


Your Board looks forward to working with you as we move forward through this process together.


  • Monday, January 10, 2022 - Superintendent Announced Retirement
  • Thursday, January 13, 2022 - Special Board Meeting to Determine Process
  • Friday, January 14, 2022 - Request for Proposals for Superintendent Search
  • Friday, January 21, 2022 - Request for Proposals Due
  • Monday, January 24, 2022 - Regular Board Meeting & Proposal Review
  • Tuesday & Wednesday February 1 & 2 - Staff and Community Forums
  • Monday, April 25, 2022 - Expect to Announce a New Superintendent

Important Documents: