SEQUIM — Jane Pryne, former Port Angeles School District superintendent, will serve in an interim capacity after Sequim schools Superintendent Rob Clark was put on paid leave pending the outcome of a complaint.
Brandino Gibson, Sequim School Board president, declined to give further details about the complaint or the party/parties involved when the action was announced on Thursday.
“This was a legal action that was taken to protect all the parties,” he said.
School district staff and school board directors have been notified as well, district officials said.
He urged staff to “refrain from speculation regarding the details surrounding this decision.”
Pryne’s first day will be Monday, Gibson said Friday.
Gibson wrote: “As the Superintendent, Dr. Clark is deserving of respect, not rumor. This action is for the protection of all parties involved.”
Gibson said Sequim staff sought advice from Olympic Educational Service District 114 staff for interim recommendations.
“(Pryne’s) been doing recent work with districts; she local understands the local community (and) has lots of prior experience,” he said.
Pryne was one of two candidates for the Sequim School District’s superintendent position in 2019.
“She was a good tough candidate (then),” Gibson said. “In the end we were fortunate she was available.
“This is not a knock on our staff; there’s a lot of lifting lot of work to do,” Gibson said. “Missing Dr. Clark, that’s a missing piece to the puzzle.”
Clark is in his second year as superintendent in Sequim after being hired in July 2019.
He had most recently worked as superintendent of the Milton-Freewater School District, just south of Walla Walla across the Washington-Oregon state line, a job he had held since 2013.
He also has served as a superintendent in Washington state school districts, including the Quilcene School District, the Cascade School District in Leavenworth and the Rearden-Edwall and Washtucna school districts in Eastern Washington.
Clark succeeded Gary Neal, selected over Pryne in the summer of 2019.
He is the second Sequim School District administrator this school year to go on leave after Shelley Jefferson, Helen Haller Elementary assistant principal, went on leave this summer. An investigation remains open with the Lummi Nation Police Department as to allegations she and her husband Francis allegedly abused an unnamed foster child.
Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].