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Superintendent Ranells Announces Resignation at Conclusion of School Year

January 5, 2021 – West Ada School District’s superintendent of schools, Dr. Mary Ann Ranells, announced plans to resign at the conclusion of this school year earlier today in letters to staff, students and families.


The formal resignation comes before the Board of Trustees on January 12. Following approval, a thoughtful search will take place for the next superintendent of West Ada School District (Update: the board approved the resignation at the January 12 meeting).


Dr. Ranells will continue as Superintendent of Schools through June 30, 2021.


Photo of Mary Ann Ranells Five Decades Educating Idahoans

Dr. Ranells began her career as an English, Spanish and reading teacher at Shoshone Junior High School. She went on to teach in the Wendell and Nampa school districts. In Nampa, Dr. Ranells became the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, a role she next filled in the Twin Falls School District.


Her career has included serving as the state’s Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction during the Marilyn Howard administration and most recently, she served as the Superintendent of Schools in the Lakeland School District. Following her retirement from Lakeland in 2014, she offered consulting services to school districts across Idaho.


While at West Ada School District, Dr. Ranells was recognized as Idaho’s Superintendent of the Year in 2019 and as one of four finalists for the 2019 National Superintendent of the Year.


She received the Leadership in Public Education Award from the Idaho Association of School Administrators in 1999 and 2013.


Student Proficiency in Math and English Increased, Post-Secondary Readiness Improved

Assessment data shows students have made significant strides in proficiency in most grade levels, even as test formats have changed in recent years.


From 2015 to 2019, ISAT math proficiency increased from 61 to 67 percent for third grade, 57 to 62 percent for fourth grade, 50 to 60 percent for fifth grade, 46 to 54 percent for sixth grade, 48 to 63 percent for seventh grade, 49 to 58 percent for eighth grade, and 45 to 48 percent for tenth grade.


During this same period, ISAT English language arts proficiency increased from 57 to 62 percent for third grade, 55 to 63 percent for fourth grade, 61 to 70 percent for fifth grade, 58 to 70 percent for sixth grade, 62 to 74 percent for seventh grade, and 61 to 69 percent for eighth grade. There was a decrease from 71 to 69 percent for tenth grade.


The Idaho Reading Indicator also showed considerable improvement in student proficiency. First grade went from 73 to 78 percent, second grade from 70 to 84 percent, and third grade from 77 to 83 percent. Students in kindergarten showed improvement from 2015-2018, increasing from 80 to 86 percent proficiency. There was a decrease in 2019 to 76 percent with the advent of the new assessment.


West Ada School District students have completed more than 176,637 college credits since the 2015-2016 school year – equivalent to $50 million in savings on in-state tuition per credit. The number of teachers providing concurrent credit instruction increased from 150 to 189, and the number of students enrolled in these classes increased by about 167 percent.


Post-secondary programs increased dramatically as well. Since 2015-2016, the number of students taking AP exams increased by 131 percent, 157 percent more students are taking the IB exams, and 162 percent more associate degrees were earned by high school students.


Enrollment Growth, Facility Expansions

Enrollment in West Ada School District grew by nearly 3,000 students from 2016-2020, requiring the expansion of staffing and instructional space to meet the needs of students. Dr. Ranells participated in the openings of Hillsdale Elementary School, Victory Middle School, Pathways Middle School, Star Middle School and Pleasant View Elementary School. Her last day with the school district comes just two months before Owyhee High School doors open.


West Ada School District patrons approved a school bond in 2018 which provided funding for construction of Owyhee High School, Pleasant View Elementary School, classroom additions at Mary McPherson Elementary School, Mountain View High School and Star Elementary School, and site acquisitions. In 2018 and 2020, patrons approved supplemental levies to maintain current staffing operations which affect teacher to student ratios, instructional days and programs.


Large Scale Construction

  • New Hillsdale Elementary – Opened 2016
  • New Victory Middle – Opened 2016
  • New Pathways Middle – Opened 2017
  • Meridian High Renovation - Opened 2018
  • New Star Middle – Opened 2018
  • New Pleasant View Elementary – Opened 2020
  • New Owyhee High School – Opening 2021


Staff Focus on Collaboration and Continued Development

Dr. Ranells joined West Ada School District in January 2016. With her guidance, school leaders and staff have utilized professional learning communities and the High Reliability Schools Framework to provide collaborative and higher quality consistent instruction in every school.


More than 400 student teachers have been placed in West Ada School District in the past five years. Partnerships with Boise State University, Northwest Nazarene University, University of Idaho, and others have been fostered so graduates of the education programs can meet with West Ada School District staff as they prepare for careers.


In 2019, 276 veteran teachers earned the Master Educator Premium.



Learn more about the achievements of students, staff and school communities here: