TSD Superintendent search at interview stage

TONASKET – Tonasket School Board members have their work cut out for them as they go into executive session this evening (Tuesday, March 10) to select one of two highly qualified candidates to replace Paul Turner as Superintendent of TSD.

The district set up agendas from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, March 9 and 10, for candidates to tour the campus and meet district staff, administrators, school staff, high school ASB members, certified staff, community members and board members before topping the long days off with an interview with the Board from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

School Board members were hoping to reach a decision by the end of Tuesday evening, March 10, after the Gazette-Tribune went to press.

Steve McCullough, currently serving as both Superintendent and Principal with the Curlew School District, interviewed on Monday. Desiree Gould, currently the Career Technical Information Director and Assistant Principal with the Pullman School District interviewed on Tuesday. Gould served in the past as Superintendent with the Skykomish School District. McCullough served as principal for four years becoming superintendent for Curlew.

“They are both highly qualified and they both can do the job, so now it is just a matter of the Board saying who is a good fit,” said Douglas Asbjornsen with McPherson & Jacobson, the superintendent search firm hired to find suitable candidates for the position. “Both of them bring very good experience and unique strengths. Desiree is very strong in the arts, but also the technical side of it. She speaks Spanish, Italian and French and those are some great gifts. Steve has been there 11 years as superintendent in Curlew and done a great job, and they don’t want to see him go. That’s a great thing and says a lot about his performance. They are both very, very fine individuals.”

School Board members gathered input from community and all stakeholder groups on their perceptions of the candidates’ skills, qualities, characteristics, and/or personal attributes.

Catherine Stangland, speaking for the school board, thanked community members for coming to the “Meet and Greet” sessions with candidates and turning in the survey forms.

“We really value what you wrote. We’ve had six meetings today and we are going to read every word written in every meeting, and take every word into consideration when we make our decision,” said Stangland.