Bremerton school board hones in on Cheney

Cheney -
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Retired South Kitsap superintendent asked to serve as interim for BSD.

When Bremerton School Board President Cynthia Galloway brought up the subject of finding an interim superintendent for the district was current Supt. Bette Hyde leaves on April 15, it didn’t take but a second for board member Pat Jones to blurt out an answer.

“I want to go for it and say that we ask Dr. Bev Cheney to consider serving as our interim superintendent for a few months,” Jones said. “She’s highly skilled and very capable.”

Also, with the district facing some tough decisions in the next few months, Cheney already knows the district and would be in the best position to make decisions that won’t be very popular, Jones said.

“Is that a motion?” fellow board member DeWayne Boyd asked.

“I hope so,” Jones replied.

Board member Louis Mitchell, who at times has been at odds with the other board members joined Jones, Boyd and Galloway in their support of the motion to ask Cheney to serve as the district’s interim superintendent.

“I think the public will support this and I do, too,” Mitchell said, noting that Cheney’s contract would only be for a couple of months and not like the one-year interim contract signed by outgoing Superintendent Bette Hyde.

As the facilitator for the district’s improvement plan effort, Cheney already has first-hand knowledge of how the district operates and what issues it is facing, which makes her the ideal choice, Mitchell added.

With everyone in the district’s central office already having a job that is “full-time plus,” Boyd said it wouldn’t be wise to ask someone from that office to serve as interim superintendent, especially during the district’s budget discussions.

“Year after year we have cut out of the central office, so people are doing their jobs plus,” he said.

During the discussion it was noted that funding for Cheney’s salary would come from the previously alloted funds for Hyde’s contract.

As the discussion waned, Galloway spoke on behalf of board member Vicki Collins, who was absent from the meeting.

“I spoke with Director Collins about this before the meeting and she supports this decision,” Galloway said.

Once the motion came to a vote, the board was unanimous in its decision to ask Cheney to serve as interim superintendent with a decision from Cheney expected sometime in the coming weeks.

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