Sequim schools superintendent Gary Neal speaks at a safety forum in October 2018. Neal was one of four finalists for the lead administrative position with Hockinson School District in early March. Sequim Gazette file photo by Erin Hawkins

Sequim schools superintendent Gary Neal speaks at a safety forum in October 2018. Neal was one of four finalists for the lead administrative position with Hockinson School District in early March. Sequim Gazette file photo by Erin Hawkins

Sequim super isn’t selected for Hockinson administrator position

Sequim School District superintendent Gary Neal isn’t leaving his position just yet.

Neal, one of four finalists for the superintendent position at Hockinson School District in southwest Washington, was not selected for the job after interviewing with Hockinson board members and the community this week.

Hockinson board directors voted to hire Steve Marshall, presently director of educational resources at Camas Public Schools, for the top administrator at the district in Clark County.

The board looks to approve the contract with Marshall on March 25.

Neal was unavailable for comment.

Neal, Marshall and the other two candidates — Ellen Perconti, superintendent of Mary Knight and Grapeview school districts, and Tony Vandermaas, executive director of Leadership and Learning in Longview School District — underwent a series of interviews on March 4 at the school district located in Brush Prairie just northeast of Vancouver, Wa.

Neal has been with the Sequim School District since July 2014 when he was hired as Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning working under then superintendent Kelly Shea.

He began his term as Interim Superintendent in July 2015. The board removed Neal’s’ “interim” status on Nov. 2 of that year.

Neal has a year-and-a-half remaining on his contract.

Sequim school board directors have twice reviewed Neal’s contract, in early 2018 and 2019, but declined to extend his contract.

“For me, it allows me an opportunity to look at another district, see their enrollment, staff, levies and bonds, and see if I’m a fit for it,” Neal said prior to this week’s interviews in Clark County.

Neal said last week he hasn’t applied elsewhere but he’s been contacted by some consultants of other school districts.

Prior to Neal’s employment in Sequim, he was principal at West Valley High School in the Spokane area for eight years. He taught for 16 years at the high school level and has served as an administrator at the middle school and high school levels.

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