A new superintendent for the Orland Unified School District was unanimously approved by the district's governing board during a special board meeting on Monday.
Ken Geisick will officially start his new duties as superintendent effective June 1.
According to interim Superintendent Bob Douglas, Geisick was selected from a field of 25 applicants. All applicants were subjected to extensive screening, reference checks and six finalists were selected by the governing board for involvement in a thorough three-hour interview.
This was followed by candidate ranking, deep reference checks accompanied by site and community visits, and private background checks.
The action taken by the governing board on Monday evening was the culmination of a four-month long state and national superintendent search.
Governing Board President Connie Carter said, "We are indeed fortunate to be able to secure the services of such a talented, highly experienced and clearly successful superintendent for the Orland Unified School District. The Governing Board looks forward to forging an ongoing and productive relationship with Dr. Geisick as we support and improve Orland schools."
The district is still hammering out Geisick's contract, but it is anticipated his salary will fall between $150,000 to $170,000 a year — higher than any superintendent in the county.
Geisick began his career in 1992 as a high school teacher of social studies, journalism and English Language Development in San Jose. In 1998, he was promoted to vice principal at Independence High School in the Eastside Union High School District in San Jose.
In 2001, he was appointed as principal of Delta Sierra Middle School in the Lodi Unified School District and in 2003 moved to the position of Riverbank High School Principal in the Riverbank Unified School District.
During Geisick's years as principal, Riverbank High School exhibited the greatest student achievement gains among all high schools in Stanislaus County from 2005 to 2007, and exited federal Program Improvement in 2005.
In 2008, the board appointed Geisick to be superintendent of schools in the Riverbank Unified School District. In this capacity, he directly supervised seven schools with an annual budget of $25 million, and became the overseer of a $20 million Capital Improvement Building Program.
In 2012, Geisick was appointed as chief educational services officer of THINK Together, a private nonprofit corporation devoted to providing a wide range of services to public schools across California. He served in this capacity until February, when a corporate downsizing eliminated his position.
Geisick is a graduate of Humboldt State University, where he was awarded a bachelor's in social science and journalism in 1991. In 1992, he received his single subject teaching credential from San Jose State University. In 1999, he earned an M.A. degree in educational leadership, supervision and evaluation from San Jose State University. In 2006, he was awarded an Ed.D. degree in educational administration and school leadership from the University of the Pacific.
He has been active in school and community activities and events.
Geisick is a certified professional developer in the Strategic Instruction Model for the Center for Research and Learning at the University of Kansas, and an adjunct faculty member at Chapman University in the Educational Leadership Credential Program.
The school district has been without a permanent superintendent since December 2013 when the district governing board voted unanimously to dismiss then Superintendent Chris von Kleist. With three years remaining on his contract, von Kleist left the district with a $247,000 severance package.