Onalaska School District Selects Brenda Padgett as New Superintendent


The Onalaska School Board has selected Brenda Padgett as its new superintendent after a special meeting on Wednesday following an interview process that included students, staff, parents and community members, according to a news release from the district. 

Padgett currently serves as the executive director of business and operations for the Tenino School District superintendent. Pending contract negotiations, she’ll take on her new role as leader of the Onalaska district on July 1.

Onalaska’s Interim Superintendent Kristin Solderback will remain in the role through June. 

“We are excited to welcome Brenda to the Onalaska community,” Board President Tanya Naillon stated in the release. “The board was impressed with her extensive district leadership experience aligned with many of our district’s greatest needs at this time. This was a difficult decision given the strong group of applicants we had, and we feel we have selected the best candidate to lead Onalaska School District into the future.”

The board thanked the students, staff, parents and community members who took part in the process over the last few months.

“It is anticipated that Mrs. Padgett will schedule transition activities this spring prior to her official start this July,” the district wrote in the release. “The district will communicate to staff and community members as these details are determined.”

In a statement included with the district’s announcement, Padgett said she is excited to work with the community and school board.

“As a child I lived in Onalaska and attended elementary school and middle school,” she wrote. “I have also enjoyed attending Onalaska graduations and sporting events for family members who attended Onalaska schools. Over the past 25 years I have worked in increasingly responsible positions in school districts, obtaining critical knowledge in managing day-to-day operations. I’ve gained extensive leadership experience in financial services, operations, human resources, program administration, and state/federal compliance. I have also partnered with school and district leaders to plan and implement academic and fiscal initiatives. I work collaboratively with district and building level administrators, community partners, and union groups and pride myself in my ability to remain calm, treat all parties with respect and lead by example.”

Padgett said she is a proud mother, wife and supporter of many community efforts. 

“I know family and community are important in Onalaska,” she wrote. “I share that commitment and am excited to engage with the Onalaska community. As the next superintendent of Onalaska schools, I will use these skills to lead the district’s instructional and operational goals, and will represent the district with the highest integrity.”