Enumclaw School Board chooses new high school principal

The Enumclaw School District ventured into nearby Pierce County and plucked Aaron Lee from the Orting educational system, choosing Lee to be the next principal at Enumclaw High School.

Nothing is official, but it was anticipated the local school board would give its formal blessing during a March 20 meeting. Lee’s name was forwarded by district administration.

The need for a principal came with the announcement that Jill Burnes will move into district administration as director of teaching and learning. She has served as EHS principal since 2008 and will transition to her now role beginning July 1; it is anticipated Lee will begin as EHS principal the same day.

Lee currently serves the Orting district as executive director for learning and instructional leadership. His mission in that role is to provide a vision for the instructional program and support teachers in developing their necessary skills. He began his teaching career in 1995, teaching special education at South Kitsap High School. He moved to the Orting district in 1997, teaching language arts, reading and social studies classes at the middle school level. He then switched to Orting High, teaching Advanced Placement courses in economics and history. He also has worked as a principal, assistant principal and director of career and technical education in Orting.

The search for Burnes’ replacement began in late January. A 14-member team of EHS teachers, staff, parents and students – along with a pair of district administrators – interviewed five candidates from the initial pool of applicants. The interview team nominated two final candidates, who spent the evening of March 7 meeting with EHS staff, students, parents and community members, sharing their backgrounds and answering questions. After second-level interviews, Lee was offered the EHS job.

In her new role, Burnes will work under the supervision of Chris Beals, director of instructional technology and assessment. Her new post has been called director of curriculum and instruction; the change is being made with the pending retirement of Terry Parker, a 25-year employee of the district and former EHS principal.