Herndon finally flips the switch

Bremerton School District Superintendent Flip Herndon is moving to the Seattle Public Schools district before the new school year gets underway.

On Monday, the Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda announced that Herndon would be joining the staff by the end of August as the Assistant Superintendent, Capital, Facilities and Enrollment Planning.

Herndon said he was told on Aug. 8 that he was selected for the position.

“I took the weekend to think about the offer and accepted over the weekend after speaking with my family,” he said of making a final decision. Herndon’s new district is “roughly 10 times the size” of the Bremerton School District, he said.

According to a Bremerton School District press release, “Dr. Herndon reported to staff that his “four years in Bremerton have been extremely fulfilling with the completion of the transition of West Hills into the STEM Academy for preschool through 8th grade; the addition of a Montessori program; Spanish Immersion moving into the 6th grade at Mountain View (students who have been in the program from its inception); the hiring of an exceptional administrative team; and the highest high school graduation rates that Bremerton has seen in decades, just to name a few. All of this has been the effort of great teamwork with so many exceptional staff and great partnerships throughout the community.

“One of Dr. Herndon’s

top priorities will be to begin the search for a Director of Capital Programs,” stated Banda in a Seattle Public Schools press release.  “Dr. Herndon replaces Terry Burgess, who served as Interim Assistant Superintendent of Capital, Facilities and Enrollment Planning prior to Herndon’s appointment.”

Herndon’s last day in BSD will be Aug. 31. He starts with the Seattle Public Schools on Sept. 2, Herndon said.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Aaron Leavell will be “acting superintendent until the board takes some kind of formal action,” said Patty Glaser, Bremerton School District Communications Coordinator.

Leavell said he is unsure how long the school board will want him to stay in the position, but he will do it for as long as is necessary, he said.

“There is no maximum number of days for acting or interim, it is solely based on the school board’s directive.  I suspect the board will act quickly on a decision for the superintendent position once they feel they have enough input and information to make the right decision for Bremerton kids, staff, and community members,” he said.  “I most look forward to serving the community and our families in this new capacity for however long I am asked to do it. My main priority right now is to continue to keep the district moving forward and to have an exciting and successful start to our 2013-14 school year without the distraction of the vacant superintendent position.  We have a strong team district-wide and I have no doubt we will have an excellent school year.”

Leavell returned to the Bremerton School District last July as assistant superintendent after being away for three years as the North Kitsap School District’s secondary education director. He started in the Bremerton School District originally in 1997 as a high school teacher, athletic coach and ASB advisor. In 2008-2009, the Association of Washington School Principals voted him as “Principal of the Year” where he was recognized statewide and in Washington, D.C. This will be Leavell’s first time as a superintendent. It is up to the school board to find Leavell’s permanent replacement, Herndon said.

Before working in the Bremerton district, Herndon worked as the Assistant Superintendent of K-12 Support for Tacoma Public Schools. During that time, he was responsible for supervision of eight directors, 100 building administrators, 60 school sites and 28,500 students, states the press release. When asked to confirm if his salary for the new district will be $176,446 plus benefits and a $450 car allowance, Herndon responded, “I believe so.”

“Dr. Herndon’s experience and skills leading a district and success in passing a recent capital levy will be an asset to our capital programs, facilities and the work on capacity management and growth boundaries,” stated Banda. “I am especially pleased to have a leader in this role who has extensive experience in school buildings as a teacher, administrator and principal. His understanding of the school environment will support a close relationship between capital programs and teaching and learning activities.”


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