District picks Riccobene for SMS principal

Sequim’s month-long-plus search for a new middle school principal didn’t have far to look.

Vince Riccobene, executive director of Teaching and Learning for the Sequim School District and former principal at Helen Haller Elementary School, was selected from a field of five finalists for the Sequim Middle School principal job.

Riccobene begins his new assignment at Sequim Middle School on July 1.

“My whole career in education has been awesome — this is just another phenomenal opportunity,” Riccobene said. “This is a great district and I feel fortunate.”

Sequim schools superintendent Kelly Shea announced the hiring to middle school staff on March 18.

Riccobene’s career as an educator began in the Tumwater School District where he taught a variety of grade levels. He was a sixth-grade teacher and had received his administrative internship when he was hired by the Sequim School District in 2003.

From 2003-2010, Riccobene served as principal of Helen Haller Elementary School. In July 2010, he was named the district’s Director of Instruction; that position has since been changed to executive director of Teaching and Learning.

“At the district office, you don’t have 600 kids and 450 families needing your time,” Riccobene said.

“Some things I’ll miss (about the district position) but love the action of the day, the excitement that it brings me. That passion that comes out (and) I want to feed that.”

Riccobene said he applied for the middle school position for “the opportunity to impact lives. It’s real — I know because I’m here to day because of educators, administrators, counselors.”

Sequim Middle School’s principal position opened after Brian Jones, who had served as principal there for eight years, announced his retirement in July 2013. Tom Anderson, former superintendent of the Crescent School District, was brought on board to serve as interim principal for the 2013-2014 school year.

The school district formed a hiring committee of five teachers, two classified employees, two parents and three administrators in February. The committee reviewed applications from 13 individuals, then conducted interviews with five finalists on March 13.


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