POULSBO — The North Kitsap School Board unanimously selected Dr. Laurynn Evans as the new superintendent of the North Kitsap School District, March 16.
Evans’ first day on the job will be July 1. She will succeed Patty Page, who is retiring on June 30. Evans is currently the assistant head of schools at Francis Parker School in San Diego, California.
Evans was chosen after a rigorous selection process which included feedback from more than 600 staff members, parents, students and community members. The board launched a nationwide search in December 2016, which yielded more than 60 inquiries and 16 applicants for the position.
Evans describes herself as a “servant leader” who wants to make a difference in North Kitsap. Prior to her position at Francis Parker School, she served as executive director of talent development at Singapore American School in Singapore, principal of Rose Hill Junior High School and Stella Schola Middle School in the Lake Washington School District, and assistant principal of Kamiak High School in the Mukilteo School District. She began her career as a teacher in Plano, Texas.
She earned her doctor of education from Seattle Pacific University in 2009, and her superintendent credential in 2007. She is also an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University’s School of Education.
The next step in the process will be a background check and approval of the contract between Evans and the board. The board is expected to vote on the contract March 23.
Board president Beth Worthington said she was “impressed with” the work of the search firm and the transparency of the process — the public interviews with the semifinalists, the sessions in which the public got to meet the finalists. She said about 500 residents participated in an online survey — including Spanish-speaking residents — during the superintendent search, and Worthington counted 80 people who sat through “more than half” of the sessions with the finalists and provided written feedback.
“The superintendent search committee survey had a large response rate. We heard from the community over three days of forums. It was a different process this time in the spirit of keeping things open. We conducted the semi-finalist interviews in open sessions.”
To which, Worthington said, there was a good amount of participation.
Parent Stacie Schmechel was pleased with the superintendent selection process. The school board “really went out of their way to make the community feel involved, engaged and participate,” she said. “Huge kudos to the North Kitsap School Board for their openness and communication with the community.”
Worthington said Evans’ yet-to-be-agreed-upon salary and benefits package will be comparable to Page’s: $158,000 salary, $190,000 total compensation — the latter includes medical and retirement benefits. Worthington said the compensation is based on that of superintendents in 20 comparable school districts.
School board members said they supported the hiring of Evans because of her energy and her ability to spark enthusiasm in the community.
“The board is very excited to bring someone to North Kitsap with a lot of energy and positivity that will build relationships with our community and lead us into a continued successful future during these uncertain times in education,” Worthington said, adding, “The board felt Dr. Evans really resonated with the community. She will put us in a direction where we want to go … Dr. Evans really engaged with the community. It’s an exciting day. There’s a lot of potential at North Kitsap and this will be an opportunity to reach that potential.”
Worthington said the school board is focused on building relationships in the community.
“I’m thrilled to finally have a process where the community is supportive. When we set out as a school board, it was our number one priority. We wanted a really open process, and we credit Northwest Leadership for helping us to have the courage to do it that way.”
AT A GLANCE
Laurynn (Laura) Evans
2014-17: Assistant head of school, Francis Parker School, San Diego, California.
2012-14: Executive director of talent development, Singapore American School.
2009-12: Principal, Lake Washington School District.
2003-09: Assistant principal, Mukilteo School District.
1999-2003: Dean of students/teacher, Issaquah School District.
1995-98: Teacher, Plano Independent School District, Plano, Texas.
Other: Ed.D, Seattle Pacific University, 2009; 14 years of educational leadership experience; nine years of building-level leadership experience in Washington; eight years of teaching experience.
— With reporting by Sophie Bonomi of Kitsap News Group. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.