Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Will DeMarco
Gazette Reporter 

New administrative team starts Rosalia school year


August 16, 2018 | View PDF

Following the retirement of the Rosalia School District principal, secretary and part-time superintendent in June, three administrators have joined the district.

Matthew McLain is stepping in to replace Darrel Kuhn as Rosalia principal, bringing with him 20 years of education experience. Most recently the preschool-12th grade principal at Columbia School District in Hunters, for four years, McLain also served as an English teacher and an alternative program principal in Chewelah for the better part of a decade.

McLain said he feels at home in Whitman County, having spent six and a half years in the area while earning his bachelors and masters degrees from WSU.

“I really enjoy what rural schools have to offer,” McLean said. “I have a big family, so I like the family-friendly atmosphere here.”

Also new to the Rosalia scene is Rick Linehan, who will take over as part-time superintendent from Larry Keller.

A seasoned administrator, Linehan's career in education spanning nearly 40 years includes an eight-year stint in Chewelah, two years at White Pass and 18 years at Kiona-Benton. He's also coached football and basketball, track, swimming and diving.

Linehan said he's amassed a great deal of experience helping train new principals, which he says will come in handy at Rosalia.

“I think my biggest job is getting the teachers, staff and principal on the same page,” Linehan said. “They're looking for an older guy to help train up the new principal, and that would be me.”

Despite his work at school districts throughout Washington and Oregon, Linehan said he feels most comfortable right here in the Palouse.

“I'm real excited to be here. My parents grew up here, so it feels like home in a way,” Linehan said.

Finally, Rosalia native Chris Ferrell will move into a new role with the district as secretary.

“Born and raised” in the area, Ferrell graduated from Rosalia High School before moving to Fairfield to work in banking for nearly 30 years. Now back in her hometown, she's served as a para-educator in the district for the past five years, including four years as assistant to office manager Leslie Gunnels. During this time, Ferrell said she's “gotten to know the ropes quite a bit,” which she explained has prepared her for her new position at the district.

“I'm excited about our new administration and to get this year going,” Ferrell said. “We have some fresh ideas we're ready to try out, and I'm looking forward to it.”

Rosalia's first day of school will be Sept. 4.


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