Opinion

Our quest to hire a new superintendent | GUEST OPINION

As any good author knows, a great story captivates the audience, introduces key characters and creates a setting that keeps you turning the page to learn what happens next.

Nine years ago the Marysville School District was struggling through challenging times. Community and district relationships were torn apart, student achievement was low and the future looked bleak. A new school board was elected with a mission to find a new knight in shining armor, Dr. Nyland.

Our “new” story includes many celebrations. From increasing student achievement scores and successful sports programs to award winning innovative technology schools and eight small  high schools that focus on building academic relationships. Every day we continue to make a difference in the lives of our youth and young adults. Although we take time to celebrate these successes, we know that there is still much to been done to reach our Mission: 100 percent of students  ... Proficient in Literacy and Math ... Graduating on Time ... and Prepared for Success in College, Career and Responsible Citizenship.

After many years of building relationships, fostering and developing educational district standards and providing the district with a strong knowledgeable leadership, the current hero of our story — Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland has made the difficult decision to retire at the conclusion of this school year. Dr. Nyland has built a solid foundation for the future of our district and believes that this is the right time to turn that leadership over to an individual that can lead us to the next levels of success and help write the next chapter of our story.

As we seek the next superintendent in our story, the board has committed to seek as much stakeholder input as possible. Board members attended over 30 staff and community meetings to share the search process and obtain stakeholder input on the candidate qualifications.  And we offered an on-line survey that allowed individuals to submit detailed feedback electronically.

A sincere thank you to all 400 of you who took time to share your thoughts with members of the board. Your responses helped the board create a list of Selection Criteria for a new superintendent that will build on our foundation and lead to the next level.  The new superintendent will be asked to demonstrate success in the following areas:

Student Achievement — Success in inspiring, improving and maintaining high student achievement ... and closing the achievement gap ... for all students.

Dynamic Leader/Team Builder — A history of successful team building, motivation, collegiality, and excellent communication skills.

Community/Relationships — A passion for and success in engaging the community in an enthusiastic partnership with our schools and students — including passage of bonds and levies.

Prioritizes Budget — Success in fiscal management with the ability to prioritize resources to support academic achievement and student learning.

Diversity/Multicultural — Success in leading the district and community with a passion for diversity and multicultural awareness.

Roots and Wings — Success in valuing and honoring the existing work of the district — working with the staff and community to take the district, schools and students to the next levels of success.

Commitment to Marysville — Commitment to be visible, accessible and an integral part of the Marysville and Tulalip communities (residency preferred) with a commitment to serve a minimum of five years as Marysville superintendent.

Over the next few weeks, applications will be screened and preliminary interviews will be scheduled.  Finalist visits and interviews will occur the last week of March. Observers, comprised of staff, parent and community members will participate in the preliminary interviews and visitation process.  They will provide written feedback to the board.

Our goal is to select a new superintendent by March 30, who will begin their new position on July 1.

For more information on the process timeline, visit the “Superintendent Search” page on the district website at www.msvl.k12.wa.us.

Chris Nation, Board President, Marysville School District No. 25, can be contacted via email at christopher_nation@msvl.k12.wa.us.

 

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