Bette Hyde returns to Bremerton School District

Retired superintendent accepts interim position.

Bremerton School District (BSD) officials announced Wednesday morning that Bette Hyde accepted the district’s interim superintendent position, less than 24 hours after the board of directors made the offer public.

Previously BSD’s superintendent for seven years, Hyde retired July 1 but recently became eligible for the job through the state’s retire-rehire law.

With Hyde back, the board will have another year to carry out the superintendent search — with extra help.

“Superintendents typically don’t help with the search for their replacement, however, I am interested in helping the board, in whatever positive way that I can, (to) develop a better succession plan,” Hyde said Wednesday. “I came back because I feel a little responsible that the board did not have much time to conduct a search and find a suitable candidate. I hope that if we have a better succession plan in place this time, we’ll have a better result. I also like everyone and enjoy working here.”

The board interviewed two candidates in July — Stephen Rowley and Tim McCarthy — but made no hire. Then, last week, consultant Gay Selby, who the district hired to oversee the search process, expanded the pool of candidates to recently retired personnel.

“We’ve spent a pretty intensive summer looking for just the right person to keep things going in the school district,” board member DeWayne Boyd said Tuesday, anticipating the end of what became a tedious search process. “We didn’t find that person who really matched and really understood our way of getting to our goals.”

By expanding the pool of candidates to retirees, the board opened the door for Hyde, who was one of four retirees in Kitsap County alone. Despite other job offers, she accepted the position.

“I was offered a position as a District Improvement Facilitator with OSPI, a position in Higher Ed and another in the private sector,” Hyde said.

Hyde was appointed to both the Washington Learns Committee and the state’s Task Force on Basic Education Funding by Gov. Chris Gregoire. She also was named Leader of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators in 2006.

“I think I speak for the entire board when I say I’m delighted,” Boyd said. “She’s absolutely and totally committed to improving student learning.”

Her leadership, vision and proven track record figure to continue through the 2008-09 school year.

“This year, I plan to continue focusing on student achievement, the budget and all of the various initiatives that we have going,” Hyde said.

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