MARYSVILLE — Larry Nyland's decision came in the wake of not only some family health scares, but also the recent designation of the Marysville School District Board of Directors as the "Board of the Year" by the Washington State School Directors Association.
"We've got a lot of good work underway,"said Nyland, who announced on Jan. 3 that he would be retiring as the school district's superintendent at the end of the school year. "We've completed the bond issue from 2006, plus some bonus projects. Our graduation rates have increased. Our schools have turned a corner, so what do they need next? It's similar to what they needed when I came in, which was someone with a lot of energy for building community and partnerships. A big part of me still wants that to be me, but I need a little bit more balance in my life."
Caldie Rogers, president and CEO of the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce, deemed Nyland a valued member of the Chamber Board whose input on its Government Affairs Committee she credited with shaping the Chamber's legislative position papers.
"His passionate beliefs, tireless dedication and leadership is recognized throughout our state, winning him Washington state's Superintendent of the Year, the Grater Marysville Tulalip Chamber's Business Leader of the Year, and most recently, the state naming his school board as the Board of the Year," Rogers said. "Dr. Nyland has not only enhanced our youth, he has enhanced our community for years to come, and provided all of us whom have had the privilege to work with a cherished rarity, a true leader to believe in."
Just as Rogers cited Nyland's "patience and passion, faith and wisdom, vision and skill, dedication and stubbornness," so too did Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring compliment him as a key contributor to the community as a whole.
"I have truly enjoyed working with Dr. Nyland, and very much appreciate the partnership that he has helped to forge between the school district and the city," Nehring said. "Larry will be greatly missed, as he has led our school district so successfully and with such integrity. He leaves a lasting legacy and large shoes to fill."
The Marysville School District expects to make a smooth transition in selecting Nyland's successor before July 1, as Board President Chris Nation explained that the Board would secure the services of a consulting firm and conduct a series of community forums to solicit input from district staff and the surrounding community alike.
"I have admit, even though we had a little bit of a sense that this might happen, we felt a little bit like, what just happened?" Nation laughed, as he recounted his reaction to the news. "We even wondered what we might have done, but it wasn't about us. He's done what he felt he was brought here to do, and he's brought us together to build a great foundation of leadership. Now that we're firing on all cylinders, I think he feels like he can step aside."
"We've been blessed to have so many community partners come together around the schools," Nyland said. "I've been blessed to serve alongside them."
To read Nyland's message to staff and the community, visit the district's website at www.msvl.k12.wa.us. For more information about the search process, contact Jodi Runyon at 360-653-0800.