The world of Enumclaw High School athletics is changing at the top, a move that reaches into the school’s administrative ranks and creates a link to district headquarters.
Briefly, here’s what’s happening: current EHS Athletic Director Dave Stokke is retiring after a long career in education and, as a result, Assistant Principal Chad Davidson will add AD duties to his plate. Simultaneously, Principal Phil Engebretsen is shifting his focus and moving to the district’s administration building, where he will be able to make the short reach to the EHS campus and have a hand in the Hornet sports scene.
Stokke, who has spent 40-plus years in public education, will call it a career with the close of the current school year. He has been a teacher and coach in three school districts (Kent and Sumner-Bonney Lake in addition to Enumclaw) and spent the past two years overseeing both athletics and activities at EHS.
He replaced Engebretsen who, prior to taking the school’s top job in 2019, had served jointly as EHS vice principal and athletic director.
Now, Davidson will have that same split-duty designation. He has spent the past two years at Enumclaw High as an assistant principal, having made the move from Thunder Mountain Middle School where he was part of the administrative team.
Davidson has built a two-decade career as teacher, coach and school administrator. Before coming to Enumclaw he worked in the Tacoma and Sumner-Bonney Lake school districts.
When presented with the opportunity to take over the duties of athletic director, Davidson said he jumped at the offer. Interscholastic athletics is nothing new to him, as he has previously coached baseball, basketball, football and wrestling, mostly at the middle school level.
Engebretsen will step down as EHS principal with the close of the current school year. On July 1, he will move to the Enumclaw School District administration building where he will assume a newly-created position that supports students throughout the K-12 system.
An 18-year veteran of the district, Engebretsen’s new post will (according to a district press release) “focus on supporting all K-12 students through Activities and Athletics and the growth and development of programs to engage all ESD students in alignment with Enumclaw School Districts Theory of Action.”
Engebretsen’s foray into public education was driven, in part, by sports. A standout athlete in his native Alaska, he headed to California’s Occidental College, where he was a two-sport athlete. He spent a year teaching in the Golden State then returned to Alaska where he spent nine years as a teacher and coach.
In 2003 Engebretsen and his family moved to Enumclaw where he had accepted a post as a 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 guiding all Hornet sports, taking the post as assistant principal and athletic director.
Two years ago, Engebretsen relinquished the AD duties to take over as principal at Enumclaw High.
In a note to EHS staff, Engebretsen told of his pending move and explained the reason for the career move. “I simply can not pass on the opportunity to apply my passion for activities and athletics and my skill set to impact our students and learning community on a broader scale,” he wrote. “I am excited to step into this position with the understanding that the responsibilities will grow as we discover more and more ways to engage all students within the Enumclaw School District.”