MARYSVILLE — Dr. Tony Byrd of Edmonds became the first of the Marysville School District’s three superintendent finalist candidates to greet the public during their visits and interviews to the district from Monday, March 25, through Wednesday, March 27.
Byrd made his visits and interviews on March 25, while Dr. Carl Bruner of Mount Vernon did so on Tuesday, March 26, and Dr. Becky Berg of Deer Park, Wash., is scheduled to meet with Marysville School District staff, parents, students and community members on March 27 in the MSD Service Center Board room at 11 a.m., 4:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
According to MSD Board President Chris Nation, the original group of six semifinalists was narrowed down to five when one of the candidates felt compelled to drop out due to health reasons.
“The Board’s deliberation on Saturday night, after we’d heard from all five semifinalists, was a very difficult process,” Nation said. “All of the candidates possess very unique and great skills and attributes, but in the end, we looked for the commonalities.”
In particular, Nation explained that the Board considered which candidates most corresponded to the characteristics which the Board had already deemed most essential, including experience in improving student achievement, collaborative and team-building leadership, the ability to maintain and build upon community relationships, backgrounds which include multicultural and economic diversity, and commitments to honoring goals that the district has already set forth, as well as being deeply involved in the Marysville community itself.
“This needs to be someone with communication skills,” Nation said. “Not only should they be able to continue and build on our partnerships with groups like the Tulalip Tribes, but they should also seek out those stakeholders whose needs haven’t been addressed. We’re a diverse district, and not just culturally, since 50 percent of our students qualify for free and reduced lunches. We want our new superintendent to work toward what we’ve already started, and to be visible at social events and school functions.”
Nation was as pleased with the diversity of attendees of Saturday’s semifinalist interviews, which he described as ranging from high school students to retirees, for a total audience of close to 50.
“Everyone I’ve heard from has been impressed by what these candidates have to offer,” Nation said. “I don’t know how we’re going to narrow it down from these three.”
Nation and his fellow Board members are nonetheless scheduled to deliberate on the finalists on the morning of Friday, March 29, although it could be as early as Thursday, March 28.