Ryan Lengerich: CNJ staff writer
In just one 25-minute meeting, one interview with one candidate, no questions from the public and five enthusiastic votes, G.C. Ross was named interim superintendent of Clovis schools.
The retired educator of 36 years in the Clovis system will inherit the district from Neil Nuttall, who has been named president of a Missouri community college.
Nuttall’s final day is Tuesday, and the 66-year-old Ross will meet with him tomorrow to begin learning the ropes.
“Interim position is a unique position because you see the end in the beginning,” Ross said.
His first official day will be Nov. 24, while students are on Thanksgiving break. Under the guidelines approved by the school board, Ross will serve through June 30. The board will search for a permanent superintendent until then and Ross can not be a candidate.
Ross’ hire began on a strong note. “Welcome aboard Mr. Ross,” Board President Terry Martin announced as a standing ovation from about 25 people in attendance followed.
“We’re ecstatic, he is a man of vision,” said Mesa Elementary Principal Jan Cox, a teacher under Ross when he was principal at Lockwood Elementary. “In the district we always called him the keeper of dreams, and that dream is doing everything for the good of the children.”
Ross began his Clovis education career as teacher at the now closed Eugene Field school before becoming first principal at Lockwood. He later moved to the central office to serve as assistant superintendent for instruction for 15 years.
Ladona Clayton succeeded him in that position about three years ago.
“I think during this transition time he will bring a great sense of peace, because anytime you’re in a transition you’re unsure what lies ahead. But with his vision I am 100-percent positive,” Clayton said.
Ross, whose daughter Dana Horn teaches speech therapy at Cameo Elementary, said he is familiar with the school administrators from his time at the central office. He plans to begin visiting schools as soon as possible.
“In my administrative career I always had an open-door policy and tried to be visible in the schools a lot and I plan to do that,” he said.
Nuttall, hired in 1997 as superintendent, said the district will be in capable hands with Ross at the helm.
“He is really one of those gentleman who has been very successful in any endeavor he has taken on. He was a great classroom teacher, a wonderful principal and assistant superintendent,” Nuttall said. “G.C. was assistant superintendent when I came and he provided me with such strong foundation and instruction.”