Finalists picked to lead Port Townsend, Chimacum school districts

Community forums with candidates next week

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend and Chimacum school districts have selected four finalists for superintendent, and community forums are planned next week with each candidate.

The collaborative search between the two districts has narrowed the field to three being considered for both districts and one being considered only in Port Townsend.

The two boards conducted a joint meeting all day Saturday to interview the semi-finalists in executive session, and they announced at the end of the day their pool included four candidates, said Sarah Rubenstein, communications director for Port Townsend School District.

The finalists’ names have not been released out of respect to the candidates’ current jobs, Rubenstein said. Their names will be released next week, she added.

Each day next week from Monday through Thursday, it is expected that each candidate will meet with a stakeholder group from each district — if they’re a candidate for both — and then they will participate in a community forum from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., followed by more interviews with the respective school boards, Rubenstein said.

The stakeholder groups are comprised of teachers, students, staff and community members, Rubenstein said.

Starting Sunday, the districts plan to release the name and some biographical information each day about the candidate who will be interviewed the following day, Rubenstein said.

While the districts have been collaboratively searching for new superintendents, the successful candidate will only serve as superintendent for one district, not both, Rubenstein said.

Rubenstein did not expect a decision to be made next week regarding a new superintendent for each district. That announcement is expected in mid- to late February, she said.

Searching together has been a good opportunity for the school boards, she added.

“I just think it’s been a great opportunity for the two school boards to work collaboratively, and one of their biggest goals in that collaboration is that they hire two superintendents who will also work collaboratively to strengthen both school districts in the community,” Rubenstein said.

“So, I think it’s been a good step in that collaboration process.”

While the Zoom links for the community forums had not been posted as of Monday afternoon, they will be able to be found at https://ptschools.org/superintendent for Port Townsend School District and https://www.csd49.org/Content2/superintendentsearch2020 for Chimacum School District.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].

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