By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Neah Bay High School teacher and athletic director Mark Herndon was selected to take over the 130-student rural school after the present principal, Stephanie Teel, departs.
His wife, Melanie Herndon, serves as the Clallam Bay school librarian, and their three children attend the school.
Herndon, who was hired briefly as principal at Clallam Bay two years ago, relinquished the job to return to Neah Bay. Both schools are in the Cape Flattery School District.
At the time, he wasn't quite ready for the job, he said Wednesday, but after years of being mentored by Neah Bay Principal Ann Renker, Herndon was again offered the job.
“Neah Bay is an incredible story that I've been proud to be part of,” Herndon said.
Many of the lessons he learned there, he said, will apply to Clallam Bay — once he has settled in and let the experienced staff there show him what it is they need from him as a leader.
Herndon said Clallam Bay School also has shown recent improvements.
“They can be very proud of what they are doing, too, with their test scores,” he said.
He is also a chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve at Naval Magazine Indian Island, where he works with ordnance.
Teel, who has served as principal of the kindergarten-through-12th-grade school, was hired to be principal of Onalaska Elementary and Middle School in the Onalaska School District.
She has been principal at Clallam Bay for two years and came to the school after a career in elementary school education in Arizona.
Dealing with a wide variety of ages at Clallam Bay gave her a better idea of how what happens in kindergarten affects what teachers see in students in high school, Teel said.
Recently, her proudest achievement is that every high school student who sat for the winter end-of-course algebra exam, a new state graduation requirement, passed it, she said.
About 12,000 seniors — more than 16 percent — of the 72,000 seniors in Washington state had yet to pass the exam as of April, according to a state report.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.