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South Umpqua School Board names finalists for district’s next superintendent


After completing a rigorous multi-state search, the South Umpqua school board and the screening advisory committee (SAC) consisting of school staff, parents, and community members narrowed the diverse applicant pool to three finalists on January 19th. The Board thanks those SAC volunteers for the time they spent in assisting in this comprehensive process. The Board is pleased to announce these finalists for further consideration to be the next superintendent for the South Umpqua school district.

Erika Bare
Ms. Bare currently works as the assistant superintendent for the Ashland School District. She has served in this role since 2021. Prior to that, she worked as the Director of Student Services for the Ashland School District for the 2020-21 school year, principal of Ashland High School from 2015-2019 and assistant principal of Ashland High School from 2012-2015. Ms. Bare served as the principal of Griffin Creek Elementary in the Medford School District for the 2019-20 school year. Ms. Bare earned a Masters in Education from the University of Oregon and holds an Oregon Professional Administrator’s license.

Brad Capener
Mr. Capener is the current superintendent for the Jefferson School District in Jefferson, Oregon. He has been the Jefferson superintendent since 2018. Prior to that Mr. Capener worked for the Salem-Keizer School District as a K-12 District Coordinator from 2010-2018. Prior to working for the Salem-Keizer School District, Mr. Capener worked for the Oregon Department of Education as an education specialist and team lead of all federal programs from 2007-2010. Mr. Capener earned a Masters of Science in Education Administration from Portland State University and holds an Oregon Professional Administrator’s license.

Carl Simpson
Mr. Simpson is the current principal of South Umpqua High School. He has served in this role since 2018. Prior to that, Mr. Simpson worked for the South Umpqua School District as a special education teacher on special assignment (TOSA) from 2015-2017 and a special education teacher and opportunity room instructor at Coffenberry Middle School from 2006 to 2015. Mr. Simpson also worked as a special education administrator for the Douglas Educational Service District from 2017-2018. Mr. Simpson earned a Masters of Education in Special Education from Southern Oregon University and holds an Oregon Administrator’s license.

The school board will begin reference checks for the finalists over the next several days. Each prospective candidate will be invited for a “Finalist Forum” on Monday, January 29. At that time, staff, students, and members of the community will have an opportunity to meet the candidates. The “meet and greet” will be held from 4:30 – 6:00 pm at the high school library. Comment cards will be provided for participants to share thoughts with the school board.