POULSBO — Three finalists for North Kitsap School District superintendent were announced Feb. 27:
- Christine Moloney, Ed.D., chief academic officer for the Puyallup School District.
- Kelly Raymond, instructional leadership executive director for Highline Public Schools in Burien. A native of Australia who has been a U.S. citizen for 14 years, Raymond was the only candidate with international school experience.
- Laurynn Evans, Ed.D., assistant head of school at the private Francis Parker School in San Diego, California. Her goal is to return to the public school setting. She and her husband had already bought a “forever home” in Kingston when the NKSD position became vacant. Because she was in Washington, D.C. accepting an award, Evans’ interview was conducted online via Skype.
Evans and Moloney are the most active in state and national educational organizations. Moloney is an adjunct faculty member at the City University of Seattle; Evans is adjunct faculty at Seattle Pacific University.
“Any one of them would make a good superintendent,” said Mark Venn of Northwest Leadership Associates. Made up mostly of retired superintendents, Northwest Leadership Associates assists school districts in recruiting new leadership.
Each finalist will spend a day next week in the district, meeting with staff members and administrators. Moloney will tour the district on March 6, Raymond on March 7, Evans on March 8.
Residents can meet each candidate from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on the day of her visit, ask questions and provide written feedback to the school board. Those forums will take place in the school district board room, 18360 NE Caldart Ave., Poulsbo.
The school board’s final choice will succeed Patty Page, who is retiring after five years as head of North Kitsap schools. A North Kitsap High School graduate, Page previously served as superintendent of Coupeville schools, assistant superintendent of Kelso schools, and principal or vice principal in East Valley, Sunnyside, Gig Harbor, and Post Falls, Idaho. She started her career in education as a teacher in Clover Park.
The school board is expected to select the new superintendent by March 23.
‘Relationships, rigor and relevance’
Over the course of the semifinalist interviews on Feb. 25, it became apparent that all of the candidates share similar philosophies and management styles.
The themes all of the candidates emphasized could be summed up by Moloney’s emphasis on the need for “relationships, rigor and relevance.”
“I’m open, honest and transparent,” said Moloney, who believes that relationships must come first in order to achieve ownership — and that means “getting out and meeting people.” Moloney said that means having a vision, setting a plan and following it.
Establishing a clear mission and vision is central to rigor, Raymond said.
Evans said, “A mission statement should be short, sweet, memorizable and memorable.”
All of the candidates said they would meet with Tribal leaders in order to better understand their culture and to determine how better to help meet the needs of Native American students in the district.
Finally, in all of the candidates’ remarks, the discussion always came back to the students: meeting their needs, making the curriculum relevant.
The finalists’ biographies are available online at: hhttp://www.nkschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_419503/File/Our%20District/Board%20of%20Directors/Superintendent%20Search/North%20Kitsap%20Superintendent%20Finalist%20Candidates.pdf.