Granite Falls school superintendent search falters

GRANITE FALLS — The search for a new Granite Falls School District superintendent has hit a snag.

The Granite Falls School Board couldn’t find the right match among three finalist candidates Wednesday night.

“The board wants to be sure the right person is hired,” said Siobhan Sullivan, the school board president. “We take our responsibility for hiring the superintendent position very seriously and after careful consideration, decided we need to continue our search.”

In a press release, school district officials said: “After thorough research and listening to all involved parties — students, community, staff, administrators, union leadership — the board did not feel the three final candidates met the board’s expectations and goals.”

The board will meet with search consultant Wayne Robertson next week to figure out the next step.

“The whole range of options are on the table,” Robertson said.

That would include continuing a search with different candidates or hiring an interim superintendent for next year while the board does another full-blown search.

Granite Falls received a dozen applications to replace Superintendent Joel Thaut, who is retiring in June. It whittled the list to three finalists, all with Snoho­mish County ties.

They were Ken Limon, an assistant superintendent with the Edmonds School District; Robert Manahan, executive director for teaching and learning in Lake Stevens; and Christine Burgess, a former Lake Stevens administrator and superintendent for the East Valley School District in Spokane.

Robertson said all three have solid credentials.

“They want somebody who can do it all,” he said. “These are good candidates. They are people who will get jobs. It’s all about fit and chemistry.”

Kathy Grant, a school district spokeswoman, said the five-member board just wants to get the right match for Granite Falls, even if it means taking more time. Three board members have served more than 10 years and four have hired a superintendent before.

“They are a cohesive board,” she said. “They are going to want to sit down and talk about it.”

Reporter Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446 or e-mail stevick@heraldnet.com.

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