Dr. Rebecca Miner, interim superintendent of Edmonds School District, speaks during a public forum for the finalists for the superintendent position at Edmonds School District on Tuesday, at Mountlake Terrace High School. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Dr. Rebecca Miner, interim superintendent of Edmonds School District, speaks during a public forum for the finalists for the superintendent position at Edmonds School District on Tuesday, at Mountlake Terrace High School. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Rebecca Miner tapped for permanent job leading Edmonds schools

Miner has been doing the job for seven months. School board members say the interim superintendent is the “right fit.”

LYNNWOOD — Rebecca Miner can drop “interim” from her title in the Edmonds School District.

On Wednesday, the school board unanimously selected Miner as the district’s permanent superintendent. Miner has served as interim schools chief since July 1, 2022.

“The Board feels strongly Dr. Miner is the right fit to guide our district through our strategic plan,” board president Nancy Katimssaid in a prepared statement. “Throughout the superintendent search process, we have listened to our community and they have expressed a high degree of confidence in Dr. Miner and her leadership.”

The district still needs to offer Miner a formal contract outlining salary, benefits and term length. Under her contract as interim superintendent, she makes a base salary of $300,000.

Katims told The Daily Herald that the board expects to present a contract at the Feb. 28 meeting. That agreement will start July 1, 2023, after the term of Miner’s interim contract ends. However, “everybody is already seeing her as the permanent superintendent,” Katims said.

“I told her to take interim out of her title on her letterhead,” Katims said.

Miner, 55, served as superintendent of the Shoreline School District for seven years until leaving June 30, 2021. At a public forum with the candidates on Tuesday, Miner said she left Shoreline as a pseudo-sabbatical from superintendency.

She used that break to lead the Washington Association of School Administrators Inclusionary Practices Project that helps school districts make plans for keeping students with disabilities in general education classrooms. She also walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, she told The Herald in June.

Miner returned to district leadership positions within eight months to serve as interim assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and equity in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, she said.

Her interim position in Edmonds came at a time when she was considering whether she wanted to seek another long-term superintendency or work temporary roles in other districts, she told The Herald in a phone interview on Thursday. She said she decided on the former because she wants to watch one community grow and develop over time.

Then, she chose Edmonds as a place to stay because her skills, interests and beliefs matched the attributes people said they wanted to see in the district’s next permanent leader.

“As I’ve been here, one of the greatest strengths I’ve seen in the community is just the care people have for our schools, whether that be the passion and commitment of staff or the engagement of families,” Miner said. “I just see a lot of interest in really shaping an amazing future for our students.”

Throughout the search process, the board gathered perspectives from staff, students and families, Katims said. Those responses made it abundantly clear that Miner was the top pick, she said.

“Clearly they felt that Rebecca has been doing a good job, because it was very, very strong support for her across all of that input,” Katims said.

The board also weighed Miner’s experience in district leadership, including knowledge of strategic plans, budgeting and “how to pass bonds and levies, which we desperately need,” Katims said. Board members appreciated that Miner makes an effort to get out in the community and talk to people.

“I’ve been in this community over 20 years and worked in the district a number of years, and this is the first year I remember the school district having a booth at the (local farmers) market jut a few weeks before school was opening,” Katims said. “She was there the whole time hosting the booth and meeting people. … Being visible and really accessible in the community is a really important thing, and she does that very well along with all of the other strengths that she clearly has.”

The “elephant in the room” was a perceived “revolving door” of superintendents, Katims said. At the forum, Miner told community members she “would love to stay (in Edmonds) … long enough to see the kind of gains I saw in my last district.” That included increasing the on-time graduation rate in Shoreline from about 85% when she started in 2014, to almost 91% when she left in in 2021.

Under Miner’s leadership, Shoreline also saw a nearly 20-point jump in on-time graduation rates for students with disabilities, a group that historically lags behind other peers.

Miner said she doesn’t have specific quantitative gains in mind for Edmonds yet, but she is committed to staying with the district for multiple years.

“I didn’t take application for the job lightly, because I knew in recent years this district had a lot of turnover (in leadership),” Miner said. “During the time I was superintendent in Shoreline, I knew three different superintendents in Edmonds. So I knew if I was going to apply, I feel like I had an obligation to know it would be something I wanted to commit to it long term.”

Miner has worked as a public educator for 30 years, including as a teacher, principal, special services director and superintendent. She was one of two finalists, along with Concie Pedroza, associate superintendent for Seattle Public Schools.

Mallory Gruben is a Report for America corps member who writes about education for The Daily Herald.

Mallory Gruben: 425-339-3035; mallory.gruben@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @MalloryGruben.

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