Phil Engebretsen will assume the duties of Enumclaw High principal July 1. Photo by Kevin Hanson

Phil Engebretsen will assume the duties of Enumclaw High principal July 1. Photo by Kevin Hanson

Changes at the top at Enumclaw High School

Principal Aaron Lee is stepping down at EHS, and will be replaced by Athletic Director Phil Engebretsen.

Editor’s note: The “Education” focus page will run in the fourth isue of every month. If you’d like to suggest a student or community educational activity to focus on, email rstill@courierherald.com.

All the moving pieces within Enumclaw High School administration have been settled and, when school picks up again in the fall, Phil Engebretsen will occupy the principal’s office, Chad Davidson will be in a vice principal’s chair and Dave Stokke will be on board as athletic director.

All are familiar faces within the school district, which filled the three vacancies without an outside search.

The shuffling was prompted by the resignation of Aaron Lee, who served as EHS principal for two years. He jumped at an opportunity to return home to the Kitsap Peninsula, accepting the post as principal at Kingston Middle School.

The cleared the way for Engebretsen, who has held down joint assignments as both an EHS vice principal and athletic director. Because of his dual role, the district was left with two jobs to fill.

The first step was to appoint Davidson as assistant principal. He isn’t moving far, having most recently served as associate administrator at Thunder Mountain Middle School on Enumclaw’s north side.

Davidson is a Seattle native, was raised in Tacoma and spent his final year of high school at EHS. He earned a degree from Washington State University and administrative credentials from the University of Washington.

Next fall will mark his 20th year as a teacher, coach and administrator. He worked first in the Tacoma School District, moved to Enumclaw and spent time at Lakeridge Middle School in Bonney Lake before taking his current post at Thunder Mountain.

When it came time to replace Engebretsen as athletic director, the district was able to accomplish the task without adding staff. Stokke, who has served as activities director, agreed to add athletics to his plate. It’s somewhat familiar turf for Stokke, who has served as both a head coach and assistant coach during a 40-year career in public education. Aside from Enumclaw High School, he has worked in the Kent and Sumner-Bonney Lake school districts.

Engebretsen, who hails from Alaska, headed for Southern California following high school graduation. He attended Occidental College where he was a student/athlete, earning a degree in education while playing basketball and throwing the javelin for the track and field team. With a degree in hand, Engebretsen accepted a teaching job at Hoover High School in Glendale, but remained in Southern California for just a year.

He returned to Alaska to take a job at brand-new Colony High, just north of Anchorage, where he spent nine years. A highlight, he points out was meeting Necia, a Wyoming native, who was also teaching. They married, started a family and, in 2003, moved to Enumclaw where Engebretsen took on the dual responsibilities of teacher and varsity boys’ basketball coach.

That lasted through the 2009-10 school year when he was presented with the opportunity to move into school administration while keeping his hand in Hornet sports, taking the post as assistant principal and athletic director.


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