Tonasket School Board chooses Paul Turner as new superintendent

TONASKET – The Tonasket School Board chose Paul Turner as the new superintendent following an executive session on Thursday, April 2.

“It is the intent of the Tonasket School Board to employ Paul Turner as Superintendent of the Tonasket School District, pending successful contract negotiations, effective July 1, 2009,” a statement from the school board said this week.

“To make this decision, we have followed a thorough and inclusive process. We appreciated the opportunity to consider two fine candidates. Each has many excellent qualities. There has been much discussion which has taken into account our differing individual opinions and through respectful, open and lengthy dialogue, the board has coalesced around this decision. We are grateful to the many staff, students and community members who freely gave their time to participate in the process,” said the board.

Turner, currently the superintendent of the Columbia School District in Hunters, Wash., has been working in education since 1994. He was head of the math department in the Bridgeport School District from 1996-1998, the athletic director in the Columbia School District from 2004-2005, a principal in the Columbia School District from 1998-2003, superintendent of the Evergreen School District in Gifford, Wash. from 2005-2008 and the superintendent of the Columbia School District from 2003 until now.

“Turner brings many of the qualities and qualifications we were looking for in our new superintendent,” Catherine Stangland, board chairperson, said. “A few of the strengths identified in Turner’s favor are: his current position as a superintendent overseeing the entire spectrum of running a school district; experience overseeing the budgets of two school districts and successful levy campaigns; similar educational vision to Tonasket’s which culminated in his school being given several recent educational awards, including being named a “School of Distinction; and proven collaborative leadership ability. Additionally, Turner seems a good fit for the community. He brings with him his wife and two of his children who will become our students.”

Stangland said the board looks forward to developing a strong, collaborative relationship with Turner as they continue in their mission to serve the students and the Tonasket community.

“We appreciate the commitment expressed by staff members to support whomever the board chose and we know that they will be the greatest asset to Turner in his transition into the District,” Stangland added. “We also know the community will do all they can to welcome the Turners. Presuming contract negotiations are successful, we anticipate formal approval and signing of the contract on April 27.”

Turner received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and secondary education from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho in 1994, his Master’s degree in Education from Heritage College in Toppenish, Wash. in 1998 and has been involved in the Superintendent Certification program at Washington State University since 2008.