Sequim School Board won’t offer contract to finalists

Sequim School's board of directors unanimously voted to decline offering contract to the two finalists for the district's superintendent position Thursday night.

In a unanimous vote Thursday evening, Sequim School’s board of directors voted to decline offering contract to the two finalists for the district’s open superintendent position.

The board will meet again Monday evening, May 18, to discuss their options heading into the next school year, as they look to fill the position being left vacant by Kelly Shea. Shea has taken the lead administrative position with the East Valley School District.

The board’s finalists included Dr. Sheldon Berman, superintendent of Eugene School District 4J in Eugene, Ore., and Dr. Joe Potts, principal at Kentlake High School in Kent. Heather Davis Schmidt, executive regional director for Missoula Public Schools in Missoula, Mont., was considered a finalist but pulled out of the running after she was offered the superintendent position with the Whitefish School District (Whitefish, Mont.).

The board conducted day-long interviews with Berman (Tuesday) and Potts (Wednesday), but agreed by Thursday that neither should be Sequim’s next top administrator.

“I don’t think either candidate seemed to be a fit that Sequim needed,” board director John Bridge said.

“This was an incredibly tough choice (but) it became obvious neither was a good fit,” director Mike Howe said.

Board vice president Heather Jeffers echoed their sentiments.

“I don’t like to settle,” she said.

Sequim School Board president Bev Horan said that while the board didn’t find a clear choice for superintendent, that the process wasn’t wasted effort and time.

“I really see this caused some growth in our board, to know there’s some work to be done here, and it helped (newer board members) to know the process,” she said.

Horan added, “This was not done quickly; this was not rushed. We had 24 applicants for this position. That says a tremendous amount about Sequim.”

Monday’s school board meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the district boardroom, 501 N. Sequim Ave. Call 582-3260 for more information.