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Field of principal candidates down to 2; North Kitsap assistant principal Mark Kluth is no longer a candidate

From left, the two finalists for principal of North Kitsap High School: Judson Miller and Joseph Vlach - Kipp Robertson
From left, the two finalists for principal of North Kitsap High School: Judson Miller and Joseph Vlach
— image credit: Kipp Robertson

POULSBO — There are two candidates left for the principal position at North Kitsap High School, after North Kitsap assistant principal Mark Kluth was cut from the list of finalists.

The two finalists are Judson Miller, assistant principal of Curtis High School in the University School District near Tacoma; and Joseph Vlach, assistant principal of Central Kitsap High School.

Miller graduated from Montana State University and then attended University of  Washington,  where he studied education administration. He has worked at South Kitsap, Stadium, and Curtis high schools.

Miller emphasized the importance of student interaction. He said he tries to begin and end each school day by interacting with students, such as morning greetings and observing student projects in the afternoon.

Miller lived in North Kitsap for four years.

“The school has a great community,” he said. “Given the opportunity, I would hope to have more conversations to help move this community forward.”

Vlach began his higher education at Olympic College and finished his degree in Spanish at the University of Washington. He later received a bachelor’s degree in English and his teaching credentials at Central Washington University. In 2008, he received his master’s of administration from Seattle Pacific University.

Vlach worked at Central Kitsap Junior High and has worked as assistant principal of Central Kitsap High School since 2008. He is a third-generation North Kitsap resident, graduating from North Kitsap High School in 1987.

Vlach stressed the importance of knowing the school and the people that learn and work in it. He said there needs to be a balance of needs between students and staff, which begins with the master schedule. Placing staff in appropriate positions is critical, he said.

“If the teachers don’t feel like you care or know about them you’re going to have problems,” he said.

District administrators will visit Central Kitsap and Curtis high schools today to observe the candidates in their working environments. The chosen finalist will succeed Kathy Prasch, who is retiring. Prasch earns $115,038 per year.

The district hopes to make a decision next week, but a date has not been determined.

On May 23, North Kitsap High School junior Bonnie Foley and members of the North Kitsap community were able to share their questions and concerns with the finalists for the principal position. Included in the list of concerns Bonnie would like to see addressed: tardiness and absence issues, and bullying problems.

“From a personal experience, I have seen racism, sexism and all that bullying,” Bonnie said.

Along with issues of harassment, Bonnie sees students constantly absent from class. Those students then turn around and blame the teachers for not helping when their grades drop, she said.

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