Tonasket School District hiring new middle school principal

TONASKET – In light of current Tonasket Middle School Principal Ed Morgan’s announcement last month that he will retire at the end of this school year, the Tonasket School Board gave Superintendent Paul Turner approval to begin the hiring process for a new middle school principal during their meeting on Monday, Feb. 14.

Before receiving the approval, Turner presented three different scenarios to the board regarding the position:

First was that Tonasket High School Principal Jeff Hardesty and Vice Principal Kevin Terris be extended into the middle school so they are in charge of the sixth through twelfth grades. The board did not like this scenario since it would overextend Hardesty and Terris and eliminate the Pyramid of Intervention classes they teach as well as Terris’ AP Literature class and someone would still need to be hired to cover Morgan’s positions as the 504 director and other federal program duties.

Second was for Terris to be moved to the position of middle school principal while Hardesty would stay on as high school principal and there would be no vice principal. The board did not like this scenario since the high school would still lose both POI classes.

The third scenario, which was approved by the board, was to hire a new middle school principal and keep the basic administrative structure the school district currently has.

“Our strongest goal right now is to improve student learning,” Board Member Catherine Stangland said.

Board Chairman Jerry Asmussen said he liked the third scenario and added that he believes it fits the needs of the district.

Next, the board approved a request from Allen Godwin for a one-year leave of absence as the head tennis coach due to family illness. Since no one applied for the position, Terris was approved as the new head tennis coach, though the board said if someone does come out of the woodwork wanting to be the coach, the hiring process would begin again.

Finally, the board had their second reading of Policy and Procedure 5000 Recruitment and Selection of Staff. The policy currently states that the vision of the school board is that “staff are recruited and selected to ensure that all students will learn. Staff is highly effective and has the necessary skills and experience to meet the needs of all students. Decisions about hiring, assigning, or transferring staff are based on maximizing the effectiveness of each staff member within the District’s programs.”

The next school board meeting is on Monday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in the district boardroom.