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OGDEN — After a national search for a new superintendent, Ogden School District went with a local candidate and selected Ogden High School Principal Luke Rasmussen.
"I'm so excited to be able to affect a broader range of students. I've had the privilege to work with such diverse and a great student population here in Ogden, and I'm excited to be able to continue that work," Rasmussen said Tuesday as the Ogden School District Board of Education announced his appointment.
Rasmussen said the application process was "rigorous and challenging" and thanked the district for giving him the opportunity.
The district received applications from candidates within the Ogden district, throughout the state and as far away as Illinois and Texas. More than two dozen people, including board of education members, school district employees, parents and local community members reviewed the candidates. District officials said they ensured the integrity and fairness of the process by keeping review data and feedback anonymous and by using evaluation tools and rubrics "designed to rank applicants ... in a rational, fair and unbiased manner."
Rasmussen was sworn into office Tuesday evening during a special session of the board of education.
"I am very confident that Luke Rasmussen will lead the Ogden School District to meet the goals outlined in our Nexus Elevated strategic framework," board President Jennifer Zundel said in a statement. "I believe that his leadership skills will bring together the great talent we have in the district to continue this important work. I look forward to working with him."
Rasmussen promised the district that he will "work hard every day for our students" and to do his best to fill the "big shoes" left by outgoing Superintendent Richard Nye.
"I can't say enough about the Ogden community," Rasmussen said. "The best decision that I made professionally was to come to Ogden. The community has been so supportive of me throughout my entire career, they embraced me. It truly takes a community, and our community partners to reach all our students and to meet the needs of them, and we have a community that's willing to do that work alongside of us."
The former principal said he believes that "positive school culture is more important than any strategy we can employ."
"We need to interact with our students and our community each and every day in a way that they know they are loved and cared for," he said. "I also believe that what we focus on grows. We need to be direct and focused on the most important things in order to achieve the desired results our students deserve."
Rasmussen played football for Weber State University. He later earned two master's degrees in curriculum and administration and supervision. District officials said he worked with at-risk students before he became an administrator. In 2019, Rasmussen received the Principal of the Year Award from the State of Utah Association of Secondary School Principals.