School board picks Pryne for interim role, extends contract

From acting superintendent to interim, Jane Pryne now has a contract for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Sequim school board directors on Jan. 19 unanimously approved a contract offer to the former Port Angeles administrator that pays her a pro-rated based salary of $80,343 for the academic year’s remaining 113 work days.

Pryne took the district’s lead administrative role in late October after Dr. Robert Clark was placed on paid leave following a complaint; the board approved Clark’s resignation on Jan. 15.

“Obviously no one was expecting this union to happen the way it did,” board director Brian Kuh said, “I really appreciate (her) jumping and helping us out.”

Said Pryne, “Everybody in the district, the board, the cabinet, the team, everyone has been very gracious.”

Sequim School Board directors last week got a look at three search firms they could use as they look for the district’s next superintendent.

The board and Clark came to an agreement to accept the lead administrator’s resignation on Jan. 15, about a year and a half after hiring him and two months after an unspecified complaint put Clark on paid leave.

The district later said Clark and the district agreed to part ways after citing “a disagreement over Dr. Clark’s style of management and decision making.”

Staff offered board directors three firms — McPherson & Jacobsen LLC, Human Capital Enterprises and Northwest Leadership Associates — as potential companies to help lead the superintendent search.

Board president Brandino Gibson said he’d like to hear from representatives of all three firms in a board workshop sometime before the next regular meeting set for Feb. 1. The board later scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, Jan. 26, with a possible selection of a firm by meeting’s end; see www.sequimgazette.com for updates.

“This is a very important decision and we need to make our desires known to them of what we want,” board director Larry Jeffryes said.

After a firm is selected, feedback about what the community wants from a superintendent is crucial, Gibson said to the process.

Whatever the timeline, the interim superintendent said she has no plans on applying for the position beyond her interim term.

“I came on to be the interim for this stretch,” Pryne said in a later interview. “They need to have someone who comes in and takes the reigns long term.

“I’m happy to help out because I do love the work.”

While timelines vary, the firms look to have proposals to the board between March and May, with the superintendent in line to take over on July 1.

McPherson & Jacobsen LLC was involved with the selection of two Sequim superintendents in recent years: Kelly Shea in 2011 and Gary Neal in 2014.

“This (superintendent selection) is one of the vital portions of our job,” Gibson said.

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