Jones confirmed as NKSD super

t Jones will replace Gene Medina on July 1.

POULSBO — Richard Jones is the next superintendent for the North Kitsap School District.

The hiring became final during a special meeting Wednesday, as the Board of Directors unanimously approved the contract negotiated with Jones.

Ed Strickland was absent, as he was at a prior commitment.

When Jones received the good news his immediate response was excitement.

“I got a call from the board president and that was just fantastic,” he said. “My first feeling of emotion was just excited because I know what a wonderful place that is to live and work.”

Current Superintendent Gene Medina retires at the end of the school year and Jones starts on July 1.

Because the process to replace Medina began in the fall, very little discussion was necessary before the vote was taken.

“Thank you very much and congratulations,” said Board President Melanie Mohler as the room once again broke into applause.

The contract is a three-year commitment, July 1 through June 30, 2011, and Mohler said it’s pretty standard.

Jones’ salary is $140,000 with a $5,000 annuity and 30 days of vacation each year.

Mohler said Jones won’t be the highest-paid superintendent in the region, and his salary was determined by comparing the salaries in neighboring districts of similar size.

Medina’s annual salary was $118,000.

Jones is pleased with his contract.

“I’m very happy with it. I think it’s very fair,” he said. “I’m looking forward to moving to the district, getting settled in and getting to know the community.”

Mohler is also excited and relieved, as the contract and entire process required a lot of work. And when it came down to choosing just one, Mohler said Jones was the choice because of his experience and his understanding of the state’s education environment, which are both “huge pieces.”

“We were very fortunate that we had two very talented individuals,” she said. “I think Rick was our choice because he had superintendent experience and budget exposure as well in this kind of environment. That’s really what the board needed to address for what we felt would be the issues in the future. I’m excited for the next chapter.”

Jones is in town today house hunting. He hopes to find a place and to move in before he starts in July, but he also knows that could be optomistic.

He said his first order of business will be to get to know the community, then he’ll like to turn his attention to the direction of the district.

“I think the guiding principles are outstanding. I’m committed to continuing to reinforce those and implement the strategies in the guiding principles,” he said. “There’s a very clear direction in this district and I think it’s the right direction and I want to support it.”

Jones has been the superintendent of the 4,000 student Burlington-Edison School District since 1998. He received his doctorate of education and continuing superintendent certification from Washington State University. He earned his bachelor’s in education and master’s in education administration from Western Washington University.

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