Sequim School board votes to offer Clark new contract

Positive survey results encourage board to keep interim superintendent

Interim Superintendent Rob Clark

Interim Superintendent Rob Clark

SEQUIM — The Sequim School Board has unanimously voted to extend the contract of interim superintendent Rob Clark.

Under the terms of the motion made Dec. 16, Clark’s contract would be extended through June 30, 2021, with an option held by the board to extend the contract for another year.

School board president Brandino Gibson said that he plans to bring a contract proposal to the next board meeting on Jan. 6.

Clark’s contract ends June 30, 2020.

“I appreciate the confidence you have in me,” Clark told the board after the vote. “We have a lot of work to do, but we can get it done.”

Board director Brian Kuh, who proposed the motion to extend Clark’s contract, said that his interactions with Clark have been “extremely favorable,” and that he is “confident to proceed (with extending the contract), and confident in our due diligence.”

This decision comes in the wake of a survey sent to school district staff and parents regarding Clark’s job performance since being hired as the interim superintendent in June.

The survey came back with generally positive results, with 61 percent of the 134 survey respondents reporting they are “strongly satisfied” with the progress Clark has made with the district, and 58 percent noting that they “strongly agree” that he’s made progress in moving the district forward.

After the meeting, Gibson said that he was “very happy” with the responses to the survey, and felt confident in the board’s decision to retain Clark as superintendent going forward.

“This isn’t something to take lightly, and I feel that this is a good move for the district’s future,” Gibson said.

Clark indicated several times in recent months that he’s willing to end his career in the Sequim School District, but that would likely come within the next two to three years — a figure that fits with the contract terms proposed by Kuh’s motion.

Given that, new board member and board vice president Eric Pickens said that he “(sees) the value in keeping Clark in place” given the district’s “immediate concerns,” but also wants to make sure that they undertake a “more robust search” for a permanent superintendent when the time is right.

The Monday, Jan. 6 school board meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the district boardroom, 503 N. Sequim Ave.

In other business, the board enjoyed a performance from the Haller Elves, a second-grade class from Helen Haller Elementary School that not only sang Christmas carols to the board but signed along with it as well; the group includes a deaf student.

________

Conor Dowley is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at cdowley@sequimgazette.com.

The Haller Elves sing and sign Christmas carols to the Sequim School Board. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

The Haller Elves sing and sign Christmas carols to the Sequim School Board. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

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