South Sioux City School District interviews final Superintendent candidates

The finalists for South Sioux City's new school superintendent.
The finalists for South Sioux City's new school superintendent.(South Sioux City Community Schools)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 10:32 PM CST
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South Sioux City, NE (KTIV) - School leaders in South Sioux City, Nebraska, have now completed interviews with the final four candidates for superintendent Monday evening

Jason Alexander is Superintendent at Beatrice Nebraska Public Schools. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Chadron State, along with a Master in Education and Education Specialist Degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Alexander said he wants to find ways to give children in the district a good opportunity.

“We have to figure out ways to put opportunities in-front of kids, whatever path they choose. They are going to be successful and we are going to put them in opportunities to take a path and be successful and that goes for people in our building,” Alexander said

Derek Ippensen is currently a as a principal of Norfolk, Nebraska’s high school. He holds a Doctorate in Education from Doane University where he received his Bachelor’s in Education. He also has an Education Specialist Degree, and Master of Education degree, from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

He is looking to moving the district into the future.

“I’m really excited about the possibility of being here and helping things move into the future and taking the next steps in getting the district in a place they want to be. And really to helping kids hear from South Sioux move into the future successfully,” Ippensen said.

Candidate Ashley O’Dell is the Assistant Superintendent for the South Sioux City Community School District.

O’Dell Received her Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of South Dakota. She received a Master of Education Degree and an Education Specialist Degree from Wayne State College.

Before her current roll she was an Assistant Principal at South Sioux City High School. She mentioned her relationship to the district.

“This place means something to us, this is home for us. The best things in my life have been a result of the schools. Whether its personal, whether is professional,” O’Dell said.

Candidate Rony Ortega who is currently serving as the Bryan High School Principal for Omaha Public Schools.

Ortega Holds a Bachelors in Secondary Education from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. He Holds a Masters in School Counseling from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Where he also holds a Masters in Education Leadership and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

He said this job stood out to him because of the community.

“There are 244 districts in Nebraska, and there are only 3 that I would consider being a superintendent in. This is one of those, because it is bigger than me. It is about making a difference in the community, and so I feel that my strengths perfectly align to your challenges here. You have everything in place and it is just needing some strong leadership,” Ortega said.

According to a school district timeline school officials hope to have the superintendent hiring approved and announced by December 12 with the contract starting July 1 2023.