White River selects high school chief

By Brenda Sexton, The Courier-Herald

Geographically the move from Sumner's Mountain View Junior High School principal to White River High School principal isn't huge for Dan Anderson - a five-minute longer commute - but it's a leap to a different school district and greater responsiblities.

The White River School Board met, introduced and hired Anderson at its regular meeting April 14.

"Every experience I've had with White River has caused my enthusiasm to increase," Anderson told the board.

"Impeccable amount of integrity," "instructional role model" and "energetic" were descriptions of Anderson from references that Superintendent Jay Hambly shared with the board.

Others, Hambly said, pointed out Anderson's belief in a student-centered learning environment; his rapport with students, staff and parents; and his "can do" attitude and boundless energy that are contagious.

"His qualifications and abilities are outstanding," Hambly said.

Anderson spent 18 years as a high school science teacher in various locations including Australia and Guam, at schools like Seattle's private O'Dea High School, and in school districts like Bethel and Sumner.

While with the Sumner School District, Anderson made the move to administration as the assistant principal at Sumner High for six years. He was then selected to be planning principal for the next three years for Sumner's Mountain View Junior High. He also served as the district's technology director. After Mountain View opened in 1997, he became principal and has held that post the past seven years.

"It was an extensive process to find the right person," Hambly said.

According to district officials, 19 candidates applied for the position, which was vacated by longtime principal Keith Banks, who will move into the district's human resources position once Michael Fuller retires.

The district selection committee narrowed the initial field to seven and then the top three.

"We had so many highly-qualified candidates we couldn't have gone wrong," board president and committee member Jean Lacy said.

In other business, the board:

€ announced it will host districtwide Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) testing through Friday.

€ will gather for a retreat at 6 p.m. April 28 in the district board/conference room. The main topic will be Hambly's evaluation.

€ noted middle and elementary schools will be dismissed early May 7.

€ announced its next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. May 12 at district board/conference room.

€ approved out-of-state travel for Mountain Meadow Elementary Principal Janel Keating to attend the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) leadership conference in Washington D.C. in April. Keating will be the ASCD's president next year.

The board also approved out-of-state travel for WRHS teacher Bob Brooks to attend the Technology Students Association (TSA) national competition with senior Shelby Johnson in Nashville, Tenn., June 19-25. Johnson placed in the top 10 in the TSA state film technology competition. Bryan Dunn won the transportation modeling competition, but has opted not to attend the national conference.

€ gave students in the Choice program the OK to attend camp June 1-3 at Wilkeson's Sunset Lake.

€ was updated on WRHS's change from split-block to block scheduling. Banks said he is being aggressive in trying to solve the issues. Earlier, band parents vocalized their concerns with the longer class periods and felt the move will hurt, perhaps even kill, the school's band program.

Banks said he is working on options for band students and other students the scheduling will affect. One of those options, he said, is he can waive certain requirements. WRHS has also hired full-time band and choir teachers to provide more flexibility in scheduling for those classes. He said the scheduling committee is looking to develop a solid plan for implementation in the 2005-06 school year.

€ approved a $20,340 change order to McDonald and Company to modify storm drainage, repair a water line, add chain link fence, excavate and haul an unknown buried building out and excavate wet soils at the White River Middle School project.

€ awarded the bid for the Mountain Meadow parking lot project and other upgrades to Athletic Fields Inc. The Issaquah company offered the low bid, approximately 25 percent lower than the seven others. District capital projects manager Milt Tremblay said the low price sent up a red flag, but after talking with company leaders he felt comfortable the company, which specializes in field building, can do the job. In addition, the low price will allow the district to pick up three of its four alternates including additional parking, installment of sod instead of hydroseed and seeding the existing field.

The project is expected, with alternates, to come in at $288,900, slightly below the approved $290,000.

€ approved a call for bid for furniture, fixtures and equipment for both middle school projects. The target budget for the bid is $242,000.

€ paid bills including $56,886.84 to Puget Sound Energy, $54,381.11 to the Puyallup School District; $88,701.25 to The Factory Advantage and $30,269.90 Harris Isuzu.

€ adjusted the 2004-05 school calendar, moving spring break to April 11-15 to accommodate state WASL testing.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at

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