QUILCENE — Quilcene School Superintendent Frank Redmon has resigned after five years with the district.
Redmon notified the school board at an April 26 special meeting that his last day will be June 30.
In his letter of resignation, Redmon wrote, “This decision has not been an easy one” and that “It has been an honor to serve as superintendent and to be a part of the collective efforts to improve the quality of education in our community.”
Prior to joining the Quilcene School District, Redmon served as principal of the Tulalip Heritage High School in the Marysville School District in Snohomish County. At Quilcene, Redmon replaced Wally Lis as superintendent. Lis’ contract was not renewed by the board in 2018.
The Quilcene School Board at a Jan. 25 meeting had extended Redmon’s contract for two more years at the same $141,283 annual salary.
“I would have loved for him to have continued on,” School Board Chair Jessica Gossette said. “I enjoyed working with Dr. Redmon. I have a really good working relationship with him. So, I’m sad to see him going.”
Redmon said the primary reason for his departure was to support his wife, Sharon, as she begins pursuing a doctorate at Penn State University in Centre County, Pa., in the fall.
Sharon Redmon worked as a special education teacher in the North Kitsap School District this year.
“She has some pretty significant expertise in augmentative and alternative communication for students who need that kind of support, and she wants to go and study more deeply about that and help add to the literature that’s available for educators,” Redmon said.
He said he planned to continue working in education while his wife continues her studies.
“I’ve put in a lot of time and I have over 20 years in leadership,” Redmon said. “And so I feel that this should be a continuation of my career path going forward.”
Redmon did apply for the superintendent position with the Burlington-Edison School District in Skagit County, where he was a finalist in March.
“If I had been chosen to support that school district, it would have been a really good fit for me,” Redmon said.
Redmon said there were number of high points during his time in Quilcene that were particularly meaningful.
“It’s been a privilege and an honor to work with the staff and see things like our career and technical education program grow, offering a lot more of the hands-on, trades-related education for our students is a big part of, big part of the change,” Redmon said.
“This last summer, we were able to finish a volunteer project to make the old bus barn into an outdoor learning center. That was an incredible project,” Redmon said.
“The dollar value of all the work, including donated materials and time and labor, was over $700,000 to create expanded educational opportunities for our kids and our staff as well as providing more recreational spaces for the community.”
The Quilcene board will review applications for an interim superintendent at special meeting on Friday.
In the fall, it will begin the search for a permanent superintendent. The position could be full- or even part-time, which Gossette said was not unusual for a small district like Quilcene.
There are just fewer than 640 students enrolled in the Quilcene School District. Fewer than 200 attend the brick-and-mortar campus and the rest participate in the PEARL Program (Partnership for Excellence in Alternative Remote Learning) for home-based learners.
“We want to make sure that when we are ready to look for who will become our permanent superintendent, we want to make sure that our community can be fully involved and there’s just not enough time to go through this whole vetting process,” Gossette said.
“We’ll be asking the community to get involved. And, that way, hopefully we have a really good pool of candidates for us to look over when that time comes.”
The board also will be seeking an interim replacement for kindergarten to 12th grade Principal Sean Moss, who announced he was leaving Quilcene; he was hired as an assistant principal at Blue Heron Middle School in Port Townsend.
Redmon said that although he and wife would be moving to Pennsylvania over the summer, they would keep a footprint in Quilcene.
“We want to stay connected to the community, so we plan to keep our house here so that we can come back and visit friends and be part of the amazing Pacific Northwest that we’ve grown to love,” he said.
Paula Hunt can be reached at 360-425-2345, ext. 50583, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.