Deborah Rumbaugh chosen to lead Stanwood schools

The Highline School District administrator will succeed Superintendent Jean Shumate, who retires next month.

Deborah Rumbaugh, an assistant superintendent of the Highline School District in King County, was selected to be the next superintendent of the Stanwood-Camano School District. (Stanwood-Camano School District)

Deborah Rumbaugh, an assistant superintendent of the Highline School District in King County, was selected to be the next superintendent of the Stanwood-Camano School District. (Stanwood-Camano School District)

STANWOOD — Deborah Rumbaugh, an assistant superintendent of the Highline School District in King County, was selected Friday to be the next superintendent of the Stanwood-Camano School District.

The district board voted unanimously during a special meeting early Friday to hire Rumbaugh to lead the 4,400-student district.

Rumbaugh would grasp the leadership reins July 1 if she and the district can reach agreement on a contract.

“I feel we’ve chosen the one that is the very best fit for our district,” board member Ken Christoferson said prior to the decision.

Rumbaugh is to succeed Superintendent Jean Shumate, who is retiring next month after guiding the district for two decades. Shumate is the longest-tenured public schools superintendent in Snohomish County.

“I am humbled and elated to take this next step,” Rumbaugh said Friday. “As my husband and I were looking for a good place personal and professionally, Stanwood-Camano just drew us in. You can really tell it is a community that is tight-knit and cares about one another.”

Rumbaugh, 51, is a Tacoma native who grew up in Bellevue and is a product of Bellevue public schools. Her husband, Wayne, is a high school teacher in the Auburn School District. He grew up in Marysville, attended Everett Community College and taught two years in the Marysville School District, according to an online biography. The couple have nine grown children.

At the outset, there were 23 candidates for the job. Rumbaugh, along with Jay Jordan, an assistant superintendent of Bellingham School District, and John Boyd, superintendent of the Quincy School District, emerged as finalists and each spent a day in the district this past week.

During those visits, each met with employee groups and took part in virtual community forums. Each also met behind closed doors with the school board for additional interviewing.

The board reached consensus on a choice in executive session Thursday.

It was “very fun to make that phone call last night,” said board President Natalie Hagglund.

Rumbaugh is executive director of instructional leadership in the Highline School District. She is also the area supervisor of secondary schools, which is equivalent to an assistant superintendent post. She’s worked for the district since 2013. She served as principal of Pacific Middle School and executive director of human resources prior to her current role.

She worked in the Auburn School District from 2003 to 2010 as a science teacher and dean of students, then as assistant principal of Kentwood High School in the Kent School District from 2010 to 2013.

Rumbaugh will oversee a district that operates 10 schools: five elementaries, three middle schools and two high schools.

This week, state Department of Health officials said districts must plan to return to full-time, in-person instruction in all grades next school year. Rumbaugh said ensuring a safe reopening in the fall will be the most important priority.

Beyond that, she said, her top goal is “listening to the community and building relationships and trust as a new leader.”

Reporter Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com; @dospueblos.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Jacob Akers in his replica Dude sweater from The Big Leboswki on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dude, you’re knitting some bodacious ‘Big Lebowski’ sweaters

Jacob Akers, 29, a Costco shelf stocker, knits cardigans made famous by the 1998 cult classic guy flick.

Madison is one of three aging elementary schools that would be torn down and replaced if the Everett schools bond is passed next year. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Everett school leaders have 2 big levies on February ballot

The district is asking voters to renew a levy for programs and operations, and to pass a $325 million capital and tech levy.

Keith Wagoner
Senator becomes first GOP candidate for secretary of state

Sen. Keith Wagoner will challenge Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to the statewide post in November

Reagan Dunn to take on U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier in 8th District

The Republican is challenging incumbent Democrat Kim Schrier in a district which could include a slice of Snohomish County.

Charges: Arlington-area shooting suspect had gun stash, bomb lab

A bomb squad spent two days detonating explosive material. Detectives also discovered an underground bunker full of guns.

A fatal crash prompted closure of West Mukilteo Boulevard between Forest Park and Dogwood Drive Friday afternoon. (Everett Police Department) 20211126
2 identified in deadly T-bone crash in Everett

Otila Retel Azanedo de Jones, 67, and William Jones, 85, died at the scene.

A car breaks and waits for traffic to pass before turning onto 123rd Avenue on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Can roundabouts, lower speed limit make 84th Street NE safer?

Maybe, but transportation and disability advocates want design features to make crossing safe.

Two brother bear cubs, burned in a fire last summer, were recently reunited at PAWS in Lynnwood. (PAWS) 20211129
Bear cubs, burned in wildfires, reunited in viral video in Lynnwood

The brother cubs are being treated at PAWS Wildlife Center. They were injured in a wildfire near Lake Chelan.

Juniper Player, 4, a student at the Early Learning Center, wears a sign in protest of the proposed plan to close pre-kindergarten facility on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
In about-face, EvCC pauses plan to close Early Learning Center

The child-care center has operated at a deficit, says college President Daria Willis. But for families, it has been a boon.

Most Read