Whidbey Examiner


Search under way for new schools chief

By ELISABETH MURRAY Whidbey Examiner Staff
November 8, 2012 · Updated 11:18 AM

The Coupeville School Board has appointed a search committee to find the district’s next superintendent.

Under the district’s usual practice, the committee members will sign a confidentiality agreement.

The committee will identify what the school system wants in its next chief and what qualifications and characteristics that individual should possess.

One option is to set criteria based on a review of the notes and data collected from staff, students and community members from last spring’s unsuccessful search to permanently replace outgoing Superintendent Patty Page, who last summer accepted a position with the North Kitsap School District to be closer to family.

The other option is to start a fresh discussion, Board President Kathleen Anderson said. But

“I don’t think our goals and what we’re looking for has changed that much in the past six months,” said Anderson, who will serve on the committee.

Karen Koschak, who  retired from Granite Falls School District in 2011, is serving as interim superintendent for this school year as the search is conducted.

The position will be open from Dec. 3 through Jan. 18, with an announcement posted in November to let potential applicants know of the vacancy.

In early February, the committee will screen completed applications and select semifinalists. It will then interview the semifinalists and make its recommendation on finalists to the school board.

The school board will then meet in executive session to review the committee’s recommendations and candidate qualifications, and identify up to four finalists.

Finalists will visit Coupeville from Feb. 19 to 22 for interviews, with one day dedicated to each candidate.

The school board will reconvene in executive session following  candidate visits to discuss  performance and candidate qualifications.

The school district aims to select its new chief by the end of February.

“I think this puts us in very good position to get a strong candidate,” Koschak said.

During a September meeting, the board identified the composition of the search committee and directed the district to notify staff, parents and students of the opportunity to serve on the committee.

School board representatives will be board president Kathleen Anderson and Chris Chan.

Tacy Bigelow and John Luvera will represent the teachers and certified staff from the Coupeville Education Association. Deanna Schulz and Tom Black will represent classified staff, including the secretaries, custodians and paraeducators in the Coupeville Educational Support Association.

Elementary school Principal David Ebersole and  Special Services Director Duane Baumann will represent administration. Parent representatives are Carrie Kennedy and Paul Schmakeit. The student representative is Coupeville High School junior Briess Potter.

The teamsters declined committee representation.

Consulting firm McPherson and Jacobson will continue to assist the district in the search. The firm had been hired last spring.


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