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News Release
Asha Riley, Assistant Superintendent Woodland Public Schools
Asha Riley, Assistant Superintendent Woodland Public Schools
Ridgefield School District announces superintendent finalists, invites community to public forums (Photo) - 02/21/24

The Ridgefield School District is pleased to announce the three finalists to become the district’s next superintendent and is inviting the public to meet them at a series of public forums. 

Each day from Tuesday, February 27th through Thursday, February 29th, one candidate per day will be available to meet with the public from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the View Ridge Middle School Commons. Those in attendance can meet the candidate and ask questions, and the district will collect feedback from the community regarding their thoughts on each candidate.

Each of these forums will also be broadcast via YouTube Live on the district’s YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/RidgefieldSchoolsWA, and the recordings will be posted to watch on demand for anyone unable to attend the forums in person. 

Below is the schedule of the candidates, as well as a brief bio for each candidate: 

Tuesday, February 27
Dr. Wesley Benjamin, Executive Principal of Forney High School
Forney Independent School District in Forney, Texas

After completing a bachelor's degree in Theology from Ouachita Baptist University, Dr. Wesley Benjamin started his career in education as a high school physics and engineering teacher at Forney High School in Forney, Texas. Dr. Benjamin continued his education by earning master’s and doctorate degrees in Educational Leadership while transitioning to working as a learning specialist, a director of innovation, an assistant principal, and is currently the executive principal at Forney HS. 

“Throughout my career at Forney Independent School District in Forney, Texas, I've experienced its growth from 8,500 to over 17,000 students," Dr. Benjamin wrote in his application. "I've helped to lead numerous bond campaigns, securing over $2 billion with strong voter support. This journey has sharpened my skills in strategic planning, fiscal management, and community engagement, essential for guiding a district through significant growth.”

“My leadership philosophy centers on building trust, collaboration, empowerment, and developing capacity in those around me. Throughout my career, I have focused on assembling and nurturing high-performing teams, recognizing and fostering individual strengths, and seamlessly integrating them into our overarching mission of educational excellence. This philosophy has been pivotal in creating a cohesive, goal-oriented culture that consistently delivers exceptional results.”

Wednesday, February 28
Asha Riley, Assistant Superintendent
Woodland Public Schools

Asha Riley has a bachelor’s degree in early learning education from Concordia University and began working as an elementary school teacher at Fisher’s Landing Elementary School in the 2000-2001 school year. While still working as an elementary teacher in the Woodland and Evergreen school districts and as a professional development administrator for EPS, Riley completed a master’s degree in education from City University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Washington State University. 

Since then, Riley has been an elementary school principal, a director of teaching and learning, and an assistant superintendent in Woodland, WA while completing her superintendent credential from Washington State University in 2014. 

“My leadership style is rooted in integrity, transparency, and optimism," Riley wrote in her application. "I prioritize building trust within a team by consistently demonstrating honesty, reliability, and a strong moral compass. I believe in leading by example and maintaining focus on doing what is best for kids. I am deeply committed to the success and well-being of every student.”

“Encouraging collaboration is also central to my leadership philosophy as I recognize the value of harnessing the collective strengths of a team. With a clear district vision, I believe I can inspire positive change and implement strategic initiatives that enhance the overall educational experiences for all students.”

Thursday, February 29
Dr. Jenny Rodriquez, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning
Yakima School District

Dr. Jenny Rodriguez first started working in education as an elementary school secretary and attendance clerk in Richland, WA. She completed her bachelor’s degree in history from Washington State University, and subsequently completed a master’s degree in teaching and then a doctorate in educational leadership from WSU. While working on her advanced degrees, Dr. Rodgriguez taught middle and high school social studies and English Language Arts before becoming a high school principal and then the executive director of teaching and learning in the Pasco School District in 2013. Since 2021, Dr. Rodriguez has been the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning in the Yakima School District. 

“I have 20-plus years of successful service in public education, in administrative, certificated, and classified roles, at all levels of the education system," Dr. Rodriguez wrote in her application. "Foundational to my work is a passion and commitment to the success of every student.”

“My core values are honesty, transparency, and continuous learning. In all that I do and with everyone with whom I work, I am known for clear, direct, and kind communication. Ensuring my words and actions align is core to who I am, and I believe we achieve the greatest success when each person is encouraged to show up as they are and build on their unique skills and talents to create something truly special together.”

All members of the public are invited to these forum. Ridgefield School District staff are of course welcome to attend, but there will also be other opportunities exclusively for staff members to meet with the candidates. Those interested in submitting a question prior to these forums are asked to please complete this Google form

At the conclusion of these forums, community members are encouraged to provide feedback about these candidates by completing this Google form

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