Misdemeanor charge filed against NK superintendent

Court date set for Feb. 28

The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office filed a misdemeanor charge against North Kitsap School District superintendent Laurynn Evans Feb. 21 for allegedly removing or defacing political advertisement.

Evans was named as a suspect in a case involving the theft and disposal of campaign signs against the Feb. 13 NKSD bond measure, which ended up failing with 64% voting against it.

The maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Evans has no prior criminal convictions or criminal charges on her record, Prosecutor Chad Enright said. She is set to appear in Kitsap district court Feb. 28.

“Although there has been a great deal of public interest in this case, this office will comply with the Washington State Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys,” Enright said. State law “limits the public comments that we can make concerning a pending case. This case will be handled in the same manner as thousands of other misdemeanor cases that our office, and the Kitsap County District Court, handle every year.”

Evans is on paid administrative leave from the district. The district’s school board appointed Rachel Davenport, executive director of human resources, as acting superintendent.

“We have been made aware that the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office filed a misdemeanor charge against Dr. Evans,” a statement from NKSD reads. “We understand that it is frustrating for our staff, families, and community that we cannot discuss details of personnel matters. The board continues to be committed to a full and fair investigation, to making evidence-based decisions, and to keeping the best interests of our students as our guiding focus.”

Board meeting

At the Feb. 22 NKSD school board meetings, many community members made public comments to voice their displeasure with Evans.

“I ask you to make a decision now concerning the personnel matter with Laurynn Evans,” Kim Gerlach said. “This decision needs to be made tonight, not in two weeks at the next meeting, not in a month. The healing process won’t begin until you all make a decision to either bring her back or terminate her. The law enforcement investigation is over. If this charging document isn’t enough to show you the…investigation is over, you’ll never have enough information.”

North Kitsap Education Association president Ted Jez said Evans “is not leading us down the right path” but noted an improved mood in the board room compared to the previous meeting.

“We have not felt listened to until tonight,” he said. “There’s a different atmosphere in the room tonight and this atmosphere came in less than two weeks. I’m saddened by the bond measure but I think the percentage result that was returned is a giant scream from the community that things have to change. Please remember, it’s about the kids. They are why we do this.”

Retired NKSD employee Terri Day urged the board to move forward with “new and positive ideas.”

“What has happened to our (district)? We need…to get people engaged in our schools again, to want to fund our schools again. I am strongly encouraging you to explore new ideas to bring our citizens back into our schools and be proud of our school district. What ideas can you bring to earn back our trust? The past is done; move forward,” she said.

Marsha Cutting said: “Part of your job as board members is to supervise the superintendent, not to follow her lead with blind loyalty. This district has been a big dumpster fire lately and the responsibility for that falls on you and superintendent Evans. If it wasn’t obvious to any of you that she needed to be placed on leave after she was caught on video destroying campaign signs, please resign.”

Beth Novak noted that since Evans was appointed as superintendent, the out-of-district transfer rate has consistently exceeded 500 students annually, equivalent to two elementary schools.

“There is no way (Evans) will be able to reunite our community,” she said. “The superintendent’s legal issues are all a distraction from the real work that needs to take place in our district. We need to turn the focus back to our students, families and staff.”

Laila McNamara, current Running Start student who used to attend Kingston High School, also voiced concerns against Evans, but for different reasons. She pointed out the inequities in programs that exist between North Kitsap High School and KHS.

“From a student’s point of view, the superintendent and district do not adequately support Kingston High School,” she said. “I urge each one of you, the board members, to permanently remove Laurynn Evans as our superintendent and to take a closer look at the discrepancies between North Kitsap and Kingston high schools.”

McNamara went on to say that by the time she was a junior at KHS, she knew she had to leave due to the lack of art and science classes. She said more and more students are leaving KHS each year to either do Running Start or transfer to NKHS.

“You are not providing an equitable learning environment for the students,” she told the board.

She also noted that many students also transfer from Kingston to North solely for athletics. She applauded the staff at Kingston for doing the best they can given the limited resources.

“This is a district-level problem. Please end the cycle of inequity and bias. By keeping Laurynn Evans in her current role, you are ignoring what is best for our schools and community. You have lost the community’s trust and are losing the student’s trust,” McNamara concluded.

Following public comments, Davenport thanked the community members for coming out and speaking their minds.

“I want to acknowledge the frustration and pain that recent events have caused our community,” she said. “I’m sorry that when you think of our schools it’s that and not the incredible things that are going on everyday inside of our schools. I want to recognize our staff for supporting our students and each other through this time.”


Around 6:30 a.m. Jan. 26, a video shows a woman with medium-length blonde hair wearing a black down jacket at the scene, pulling up two signs, tossing them into the back of a gray Ford Ranger and closing the bed cover.

Two people against the bond measure were watching because signs were being stolen. They had set up the video camera.

After the woman left, they followed.

At a stoplight, one tried to take the woman’s photo and said he was shocked at who he saw.

A sheriff’s report says the truck pulled into the Poulsbo Sons of Norway parking lot. The Kingtson-North Kitsap Rotary Club was meeting, and Evans was in attendance.

After the meeting, law enforcement questioned Evans, who confirmed that the Ranger was hers, but denied that she had taken any signs. Instead, she said she planned to distribute signs in favor of the bond. Officers did not find any anti-Proposition 1 signs in her truck, but did see pro-bond signs and a mallet.

However, they observed some “greenish-blue” grease on the truck’s tailgate — consistent with the grease put on the anti-bond signs to deter them from being stolen.

A sheriff’s sergeant recovered two anti-bond signs in the bushes along Stottlemeyer Road. A deputy later found a gardening glove and a yellow towel wrapped in paper with the message “SUPPORT NK STUDENTS & SCHOOLS VOTE YES” — all covered in blue-green grease — in a nearby dumpster.