Neah Bay principal to retire at end of this school year

NEAH BAY — The principal of the Neah Bay Senior and Junior High schools will retire at the end of the school year.

Matt Vandeleur, 62, was hired as principal in 2014 and will retire from the 175-student school in June.

Vandeleur, who has worked in education for 38 years, plans to move back to the Midwest to be closer to family, he said.

He said he hasn’t yet determined exactly where in the Midwest he wants to settle for an active retirement.

“I have many, many things I am still interested in,” he said.


Before being hired by the Cape Flattery School District for the Neah Bay position, Vandeleur was the director of secondary education at the North Kitsap School District and is a past principal of Poulsbo Middle School.

At one time, he also taught in Greeley, Colo.

He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Wyoming. He completed a second bachelor’s degree at Wyoming in 1987 and earned his master’s degree in administration from Gonzaga University in 1997.

Vandeleur replaced Ann Renker, who departed the job after 20 years with the district. She initially took a position as a leadership coach at the Olympia Office of Student and School Success and is now assistant superintendent at the Sequim School District.

The Cape Flattery School District will have a new superintendent for the 2016-17 school year, and Mark Herndon, the Clallam Bay principal, is also departing.

The Cape Flattery School Board selected Michelle Parkin, a member of the Makah tribe, in September to replace Kandy Ritter as superintendent.

Ritter has worked for the district since 1988, beginning as a teacher. She also has served as a principal.

Parkin has been shadowing Ritter since her selection to prepare to take over the district in July.

The principal position at the 125-student Clallam Bay School is being eliminated at the end of this school year to be replaced with a “lead teacher model” in which one teacher is designated to complete day-to-day school management tasks, while the district superintendent completes much of the administrative work a principal would be responsible for.

Herndon said he was offered the position at Neah Bay but declined and plans to move with his family to take over as principal in Coulee Dam in Eastern Washington.


Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at

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