More changes made at North Kitsap School District

POULSBO — Things will look a little different in the North Kitsap School District next year, at least when it comes to administration and principals. Following a handful of resignations and a retirement, Superintendent Patty Page is at work reorganizing employee positions.

“There were a lot of changes that occurred right when I was coming in,” Page said.

Among the changes: Former Gordon Elementary School principal Claudia Alves has been transferred to the same position at Poulsbo Elementary.

Tim Garrison, former Poulsbo Elementary principal, is now interim director of special education (.5 FTE) and director of teaching and learning (.5 FTE).

Garrison replaces Shawn Woodward as director of teaching and learning, and shares the responsibilities of special ed director with Ken Aries; Dorothy Siskin retired from the latter position.

Aries will be the assistant director of special education (.5 FTE). Aries was one of two assistant principals of Kingston High School.

Poulsbo Middle School principal Matthew Vandeleur becomes interim director of secondary education. The position following the resignation of Aaron Leavell, who is now assistant superintendent of the Bremerton School District.

Mark Kluth and Megan Chadderton will swap assistant principal duties at the high schools. Kluth will go to KHS, Chadderton to North Kitsap High School.

The rearrangements leave a few positions vacant for the time being. Gordon  Elementary is without a principal, as is Poulsbo Middle School. Breidablik Elementary is also without a principal following the retirement of interim principal Glen Robbins.

Some of the positions originally designated as full-time, such as director of teaching and learning, have been reduced to part-time. These reductions in position hours could save the district money. However, Page said the exact cost savings is not known yet. The interim positions, Page said, are for one year. Permanent positions will be open next year, with the possibility of change in job descriptions.  The open principal positions are currently in the process of being filled. Page said those interested within and outside the district are encouraged to apply.

Page became superintendent July 2, succeeding  Richard Jones, whose contract was not renewed.

Despite the changes made so far, Page said she wanted to “maintain the good momentum” at the district. The idea, she said, was not to come in and change the work.

“This is probably one of the biggest shuffles in the district’s history,” she said. It’s the most change she’s been involved with. Also at the district level, Brenda Ward was recently hired as director of technology. Robyn Chastain, director of communications and community relations, resigned to accept a position with BP in Bellingham.

Facing a shrinking budget, Page said the district may not have the same number of district administration positions in the future. The district faces more than $2 million in budget cuts for the 2012-13 school year. Recommendations from the Citizens Budget Review Committee, Budget Advisory Team and former superintendent were provided to the school board in June. Those recommendations can be seen on the district’s website within the school board’s agendas page.

To familiarize herself with the district’s budget and structure, Page was allowed to contact Jones and the school board prior to July 2. This gave her extra time to work on filling positions. If she tried to make all the changes now “it would be an extreme hardship.” However, she admits the district is behind in filling the remaining vacancies.



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