Sequim names interim principal for middle school

Sequim Gazette staff

Parents and staff awaiting the next long-term principal for the Sequim Middle School are going to have to wait a little longer.


Tom Anderson, on the other hand, is jumping right in.


Sequim School District officials picked Anderson, the longtime educator and former superintendent of the Crescent School District, to serve as interim principal at the Sequim school.


Anderson replaces Brian Jones, who after eight years on the job announced his retirement in June. The school board accepted his resignation on July 25.


Anderson has worked as a middle school teacher, middle school principal, central office administrator and school superintendent in his 35-plus years in education.


The board has the option of approving or rejecting Anderson’s selection at the next board meeting, slated for Aug. 5.


School district officials hosted two meetings for staffers and another for parents in recent weeks, collecting opinions and perspectives about the middle school’s strengths and weaknesses, and what school advocates want to see in their next principal.


Sequim schools superintendent Kelly Shea presented three options to the board on July 25: hire someone from the existing staff, go through an extensive interview process to find a great fit for the job, or hire an interim principal with the idea of pursuing an extensive hiring process in early 2014.


The school district didn’t receive Jones’ letter of resignation until June 30. Shea, who worked in the human resources department in the Mead School District and helped handle several administrator resignations, said this was the latest he’s ever seen.


“The timing could not be any worse,” Shea said. “Every administrator is under a similar contract of July to June. It does put us in a bind in terms of a timeline.”


The applicants the Sequim School District would receive at this point, Shea said, would be those seeking their first administrative position or those seeking to escape a particular situation.


With Anderson’s selection, however, district administrators, staff and other middle school advocates will begin a new, more extensive search for a longer-term principal sometime after Jan. 1, 2014.


The interim hiring provides “adequate time to involve staff, parents and administrators in a complete and thorough hiring process in order to find the best and right person to be principal of Sequim Middle School for years to come,” district officials said in a prepared statement.


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