Changes abound at Sequim Schools: Board members OK admin changes

The Sequim School Board of Directors took an oath of office Monday night and had plenty of work to do approving changes to administrative roles at their Dec. 4 school board meeting.

The board — president Heather Short, vice president Brian Kuh, members Jim Stoffer and Robin Henrikson and newly-elected Brandino Gibson — approved an administrative contract for Sequim High School assistant principal Randy Hill, who will now serve as Interim Executive Director of Human Resources.

The board also hired Tom Anderson and Mary Ann Unger to job-share as interim assistant principal at Sequim High School, and agreed to offer a classified employment position to Hanna Smith as the district’s new Community Outreach Coordinator.

Paul Wieneke, Executive Director of Human Resources, recently announced his retirement after serving as Sequim’s HR director for the past year. Wieneke had more than 30 years of experience as a certified educator and replaced Karen Sande, who retired from the district in November of 2016.

The board accepted Wieneke’s retirement at the Nov. 20 school board meeting. Superintendent Gary Neal said at that time the district was looking to Educational Service District 114’s recommendations as to how to the fill the position.

“Paul brought a lot of energy in relational types of skills sets,” Neal said. “I think he spent a lot of time getting out and making connections.”

Neal said he chose Hill to fill Wieneke’s place because of his experience and networking opportunities. Neal met with high school principal Shawn Langston to discuss the idea of Hill filling the position and they both agreed on the change.

“Randy is very diversified and one of the things is he’s had different central office experience in other districts,” Neal said.

“He has a lot of networking out there so having that experience in these different positions he’s very involved at the state level and different organizations.”

Neal said Hill will officially start as interim executive director on Dec. 18 but he is going to start getting involved this week.

Hill also served as the principal at Olympic Peninsula Academy (OPA) and Sequim Options School (SOS) and Neal said he will no longer be continuing his duties there.

Neal said Sequim High School assistant principal Mark Willis will take over Hill’s principal duties at OPA and SOS.

“Because (Willis) has been so entrenched in that world anyway and he works with Randy on a daily basis we’re going to pass off the baton and some of the responsibilities to him for OPA and SOS.”

Neal said the district will look at the starting salary for the interim position and negotiate Hill’s compensation from there. He said there will probably be an increase in Hill’s pay due to the change in administrative responsibilities.

Job share roles

In order to fill Hill’s position at the high school, Neal said he and Langston worked out a job sharing position with Anderson and Unger who were both retired but are familiar with Sequim Schools.

“We were able to find two folks that are going to job share and they are both familiar with this school district,” Neal said.

Neal said Anderson has experience as a principal and superintendent and filled in at Sequim Middle School as a principal for one year several years ago.

Unger is a retired principal from Port Angeles School District who Neal said is at the same level of notoriety in the area.

The decision to hire Hill as interim executive director of human resources and split his former position creates the least amount of disruption within the district, Neal said.

He said the high school will be introducing the new assistant principals next week.

The details of Anderson and Unger’s contracts have not been finalized, Neal said, and typically with a job share the duties are split halfway but he is letting Anderson and Unger discuss the details with Langston who will then present the final decision to Neal.

“Whatever we can do to accommodate because we are happy as clams that we can have these folks,” Neal said.

Smith takes a role

The district also is welcoming Smith as the new community outreach coordinator, filling Patsene Dashiell’s previous role as director of communications.

Neal said it has been three months the district has gone without a director of communications and decided the district could not wait any longer.

Smith was a para-professional in the district at Sequim Middle School and her position there has not been replaced yet, leaving it up to SMS principal Vince Riccobene as to how he wants to fill Smith’s previous position.

“Now’s our chance to reorganize a little bit,” Neal said. “Things haven’t changed in a long time the way we’ve been organized, so this is an opportunity for us.”

Taking oath

School board members took an oath of office with a flag ceremony and pledge of allegiance performed by Boy Scout Troop 1498 and Clallam County Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer completed the swearing in of Kuh, director of district No. 2, and Gibson, director at large (position No. 4).

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