03-06-12: Puyallup School Board selects new superintendent
03-06-12: Puyallup School Board selects new superintendent

Timothy Yeomans, superintendent of the Meridian School District in Bellingham, has been selected to become superintendent of the Puyallup School District, effective July 1.

The Puyallup School Board unanimously agreed on March 6 to offer Yeomans the schools chief job, pending successful negotiation of a contract and completion of a background check.

He will replace Tony Apostle, who retires June 30 after eight years as the leader of the ninth largest school district in Washington.

School Board President Greg Heath said he is impressed by the depth of Yeomans’ educational background and experiences, as well as his passion for education.

“Tony has done a fantastic job for our district, and Tim is going to keep that going,” Heath said. “Our students deserve the best education possible.”

Vice President Chris Ihrig added, “This man is going to bring a tremendous set of gifts and passion to this district.”

Director Pat Jenkins, one of the newest members on the board, complimented the work that Apostle has done and added that the Puyallup School District is “well-positioned to go forward and do great work for the students of this district.”

All of the directors praised the superintendent search process as being one that had extensive public engagement, as well as a talented pool of applicants.

The board received more than 100 pages of written comments about the candidates submitted by students, staff, and community members during a series of public forums and interview sessions.

“There was lots of engagement throughout from a broad constituency,” Ihrig said. “That has felt very engaging and very encouraging.”

Legislative Representative Pat Donovan added, “We heard what the community said. The process had to be open, and it had to be transparent.”

Director Dane Looker, also a newly elected member of the board, said he was particularly impressed by the professionalism of the student panels that interviewed the three finalists.

The candidates spent 45 minutes fielding questions from more than a dozen student leaders at each of the district’s comprehensive high schools during the daylong visits to the Puyallup School District.

Yeomans was selected following a national search that resulted in 16 applicants. Of those, seven were called for preliminary interviews before the board, an observer panel of employees and community members, and the general public. The board then selected three finalists, who each spent a day in the district February 28, 29, and March 1 for meetings with employees, community members, and students.

Yeomans, 47, has been superintendent of the Meridian School District since July 2007.

Before that he worked nine years in the Mount Baker School District, including two years as assistant principal at Mount Baker High School; five years as the high school principal, and two years as a district assistant superintendent.

His past experience also includes three years at Bellingham High School as a teacher, coach, principal intern, and athletic director; four years at Shorecrest High School as a teacher, coach, and student leadership and activities coordinator; one year as a teacher and coach at Northshore Junior High School in Bothell; and several years of teaching and coaching while working toward his college degrees.

Yeomans started his education career in the Puyallup School District in 1986 as a student teacher and coach at Puyallup High School.

He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Washington State University and a doctorate in education from University of Washington.

Yeomans has been selected Principal of the Year twice by the Association of Washington School Principals — once in 2002 and again in 2005. More recently, he received a Washington State Student Achievement Leadership Award in 2008 from the Washington Association of School Administrators.

He has served since 2008 as chair of the Educational Administration Professional Education Advisory Board for the Western Washington University (WWU) Woodring College of Education. Yeomans has also been an adjunct or a guest lecturer at WWU since 2004.

Yeomans has also served since 2009 as a representative on the Educational Administration Professional Education Advisory Board for the University of Washington, Bothell School of Education.

He and his wife, Keri, have a son and a daughter, ages 20 and 21. Both of their children attend Washington State University.