02-17-12: Community invited to meet superintendent finalists
02-17-12: Community invited to meet superintendent finalists

The Puyallup School Board has narrowed its search for a new superintendent to three finalists.

The board agreed on February 17 to invite the following candidates back to the district for full-day visits, including meetings with students, employees, and the community:

  • Lester “Flip” Herndon, Jr., Superintendent, Bremerton School District
  • Michael Newman, Deputy Superintendent, Business and Operations, Auburn School District
  • Timothy Yeomans, Superintendent, Meridian School District in Bellingham

“What a privilege to have such a talented field of candidates,” said Board President Greg Heath. “It’s always a hard process choosing the top finalists, and we are honored that these three individuals are interested in leading our district.”

Heath said he and the board look forward to spending an entire day with each of the finalists and encourages the community to attend public forums where they can meet and ask questions of their potential new school district leader.

Community forums are scheduled at noon and 7 p.m. on February 28, 29, and March 1. Herndon will visit on February 28, Newman will visit on February 29, and Yeomans will visit on March 1.

The noon community forums will be held at the Education Service Center, 302 Second St. S.E. in downtown Puyallup. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch.

The evening forums will be held on February 28 in the Rogers High School library, 12801 86th Ave. E. in Puyallup; February 29 in the Emerald Ridge High School library, 12405 184th St. E. in Puyallup; and March 1 in the Puyallup High School Commons, 105 7th St. S.W. in Puyallup.

Each candidate will also meet with student leaders, as well as district employees, including separate meetings with school principals and other leadership, the Superintendent’s Cabinet, and central office employees. The school board will also meet with each candidate.

Directors announced the three finalists after spending two days conducting preliminary interviews with seven candidates. A 32-member panel, made up of community members and district employees, also listened to the seven interviews and submitted written comments about the candidates to the board.

The school board has set a goal of hiring a new superintendent by March 30. Puyallup School District Superintendent Tony Apostle will retire June 30 after eight years as leader of the state’s ninth largest school district.