February 26, 2001
Riverview District selects new superintendent
by Lisa Allen
Valley View Editor
CARNATION - Conrad Robertson, current head of Lewistown (Mont.) Public Schools, has been chosen to be the new superintendent of the Riverview School District.
Robertson was the clear favorite in a choice of three finalists for the position, according to Steve Hallstrom, school board president.
"He was the one who received the most positive comments ‹ and no negative ones ‹ from the public at the candidates night," said Hallstrom. "He was the overwhelming favorite."
Hallstrom said the school board felt that Robertson expressed a sense of desire to become involved with the community and that his priorities were in teaching kids.
"He came through as very sincere and a nice person who wants to improve education," Hallstrom said.
Hallstrom explained that the board relied on the search committee, comprised of teachers, students and parents, to bring them well-qualified candidates.
"The search committee did a good job with that," he said. The board made its final selection on Feb. 13.
Robertson, 50, has been the superintendent for Lewistown Public Schools for the last 12 years. He will receive a $115,000 annual compensation package from Riverview and $40,000 for relocation expenses due to the high cost of housing in the east King County area.
"He really wanted to come here," said Hallstrom. "But the cost of housing was one of the factors. He pays about $900 a month for a four-bedroom house in Montana. There is nothing like that around here."
Robertson said last week in a telephone interview that he had visited the Snoqualmie Valley in the past after making a presentation at a conference in Bellevue.
"We drove through North Bend, Fall City and Carnation and loved the area," he said. "After living in Montana for so many years, we were kind of looking for the next phase and were already thinking about Seattle. So when I saw the position advertised, I followed through. We love Montana, our kids grew up here, but we are excited over making a new start."
Robertson and his wife have four children. Their three sons are attending the University of Montana in Missoula, and their daughter, who graduates this spring from high school, will be going there as well.
Robertson starts his job with the Riverview School District on July 1. His initial goal, he says, is to educate himself about the school district even before arriving, so that "when I get there I will be up to speed. I will need to get information on test scores so I can see where the district is going."
Then, he said, he will want to meet the teachers and the community.
"My major goal is to improve the quality of education," he said. "We want to make the wisest use of dollars with the end result to have good students."
Robertson said he enjoyed meeting community members during the recent public forum.
"I felt very comfortable and am looking forward to the move," he said. "My personal goal is to become active in the community."