Public will have opportunity to hear from superintendent finalists

The three candidates will be interviewed June 2 - 4.

Mike Nelson served his hometown as superintendent since 2007. The Enumclaw School Board is now looking for his replacement. File photo by Kevin Hanson

Mike Nelson served his hometown as superintendent since 2007. The Enumclaw School Board is now looking for his replacement. File photo by Kevin Hanson

As the process of choosing a new chief for the Enumclaw School District unfolds, the community is being invited to participate the interview process.

The final decision rests with the five members of the school board, who have been marching through the selection process since early April, when Mike Nelson announced his decision to take a new job. But constituent groups are not being ignored, said Tina McGann, president of the school board.

Nelson, an Enumclaw High School graduate who has been with the local district for 21 years, served as assistant superintendent before taking the No. 1 post in January 2007. He is leaving the district for a job with the Washington Association of School Administrators.

That kicked off a formal search for a new superintendent. With assistance from Northwest Leadership Associates, the district advertised and sought applicants. That process concluded Friday, May 22. McGann said that early worries about the timing – recruiting for an important position during a worldwide pandemic – were quickly put to rest. Heading into last week, she said, NLA had fielded inquiries from 20 interested parties; in the end, McGann figured, that would yield at least 15 formal applications.

Last night (Tuesday) the board and NLA met in executive session – meaning closed to the public – to whittle the field of applicants to a manageable number. It was anticipated that five or six hopefuls would make the cut and be considered for preliminary interviews.

This Saturday, May 30, the board intends to conduct a series of interviews, spending 50 minutes with each candidate. At the end of the day, the board is slated to select three finalists. That trio will be interviewed next week, June 2-4, with one candidate each day.

Those will be long days, as candidates will meet with district leadership at 1 p.m., with district principals at 2 and other district staff at 3. At 5 p.m. each day, the community will be invited to join a discussing with the candidate.

All interaction with candidates will be conducted online, via Zoom. Instructions for joining the Zoom sessions will be posted on the district website (Enumclaw.wednet.edu) and on the district’s Facebook page.

McGann said everyone participating in the Zoom sessions will have the opportunity to provide feedback, with comments distributed to the school board.

The adopted timeline shows the board making a final decision and offering a contract in the days following the final interview.


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