FORKS – The Quillayute Valley School Board is looking for a new chief executive for the next school year.
Superintendent Frank Walter will follow his heart at the end of the school year, leaving the district to move closer to his fiancee in Pierce County.
Meanwhile, the board is considering two in-house candidates to replace Walter.
They are Forks High School Principal Ray Marshall and Special Services Director Diane Reaume, said Board Chairman Dave Dickson.
“We’ll see how they stack up and measure up to what we’re looking for,” he said.
Board members want to find a new schools chief no later than the middle of May to allow enough the person time to settle in, he said.
“If they aren’t one of our local candidates they will need to find a home out here,” Dickson said.
The job pays about $97,000 a year with a three-year contract and an option for an additional year, Dickson said.
In addition to strong leadership skills and experience with budgets, the right candidate will be adept at putting together curriculum to get the district’s schools “on the same page,” Dickson said.
Also, it’s vital that the prospect wants to relocate to Forks.
“Number one, we want someone who wants to live in the community,” Dickson said.
The district has 1,776 students, including about 600 at the on-line Insight School of Washington, and about 150 employees, Walter said.
The district has an annual budget of $13 million, Dickson said, with local property taxes accounting for about $560,000 of the annual budget.
Walter, 57, said he and his fiancee, Clover Park School District Assistant Superintendent Robin Sweeney of Lakewood, have not finalized a wedding date.
“Not yet, we’re working on it,” Walter said, adding they are looking to tie the knot in October.
“With wrapping up here, with the start of school, with all those other factors, things actually quiet down in October,” he said.
It will be the second marriage for both, he said.