New superintendent chosen to lead Enumclaw School District

Dr. Shaun Carey hails from the Franklin Pierce school system.

Dr. Shaun Carey is expected to take the reigns at the Enumclaw School District July 1. Submitted photo

Dr. Shaun Carey is expected to take the reigns at the Enumclaw School District July 1. Submitted photo

Dr. Shaun Carey stood alone at the top following a seven-week search process and has been named the new superintendent of the Enumclaw School District.

The announcement was made during a rare, Sunday afternoon meeting of the five-member school board. After convening in executive session (private) for an hour and 20 minutes, they announced their unanimous support for Carey.

Carey, who will take the Enumclaw reins July 1, comes to the district from the Franklin Pierce school system. He replaces Mike Nelson, an Enumclaw native who served his hometown district as an administrator for 21 years, first as assistant superintendent before being elevated to the top job. Nelson announced in mid-April that he had taken a new post with the Washington Association of School Administrators.

Carey began his career in the 1990s, teaching at both the elementary and middle school level. He then spent a decade as an elementary school principal before making the jump into the administrative ranks. Within the Parkland-based Franklin Pierce system, he first served as director of human resources (2011-12), was elevated to executive director for human resources and business (2012-15) and was promoted to assistant superintendent (2015-18). He was then named deputy superintendent, where he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a district that counts two traditional high schools, two middle schools, eight elementaries and an early learning center.

Carey earned a bachelor of arts in education from Pacific Lutheran University, obtained a master of education in curriculum and instruction from City University of Seattle and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Washington State University.

After Nelson announced his departure, the school board enlisted Northwest Leadership Associates to assist with the process of finding a replacement. From the initial list of applicants, the board whittled the list to six and then intended to name a field of three finalists. Citing the quality of applicants, the board forwarded four finalists who endured full days Zoom meetings with the board, district staff and the public.

The other finalists were Jacob Kuper, who has served since 2006 as chief of finance and operations for the Issaquah School District; Dan Chaplik, superintendent since 2007 of the Sultan School District and, for two years prior to that, superintendent of the Republic School District; and Jennifer Bethman, who, since 2011, has served the Bethel School District as assistant superintendent of secondary education.

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