New Port Angeles schools superintendent to be named in March

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A new Port Angeles School District superintendent is expected to be selected at the end of March, according to a consultant hired to search for candidates.

Steve Rasmussen of Ray and Associates Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, revealed the timeline for the superintendent search process during two meetings Wednesday at the North Olympic Skills Center.

Applications will be taken in February, he said, and interviews will begin in early March.

The School Board is expected to select a superintendent March 24.

Superintendent Jane Pryne announced her retirement in September and will depart June 30 after five years in the top seat in Port Angeles.

Pryne is paid $141,432 a year. The salary of the new superintendent would be negotiated.

At Wednesday's meetings, the district introduced the process it will follow in the search and gathered information from district staff, parents and residents to help determine what to seek in a new schools superintendent.

Public's comments

Among comments from those who attended were that since the district will need to make changes to comply with new state education law, experience with transitions to the Common Core curriculum, implementation of gifted education and familiarity with the state's new teacher and principal evaluation processes would be helpful.

Qualities to be sought included having a transparent decision-making process and keeping a “bird's-eye view” of district operations, as well as avoidance of micro-management.

Ray and Associates also conducted an online survey that closed Thursday.

The survey results and comments from Wednesday's meetings will be used to create a job description and fliers, which will be posted next Friday, Jan. 17, in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, as well as in several industry journals, Rasmussen said.

The average superintendent stay in a district is three years, he said.

Pryne, 58, became the Port Angeles district superintendent July 1, 2009, after having served seven years as superintendent of a district in the Tucson, Ariz., area and a year as interim superintendent in another Tucson-area district.

In June 2012, former Deputy Associate Superintendent Michelle Reid departed to become superintendent of the South Kitsap School District.

The board selected Mary Ann Unger, a former Port Angeles administrator and teacher from 1993 until her retirement in 2011, as interim deputy associate superintendent.

Interim deputy

Unger is expected to remain in her role as the superintendent's deputy until permanent selections are made for both positions, and the new superintendent will take part in the search for a permanent deputy.

The search for the new deputy superintendent is likely to be informed by the choice of superintendent, Rasmussen said.

When seeking a deputy superintendent, specific qualities can be sought to offset any weaknesses the superintendent may have, he said.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 09. 2014 10:33PM
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