Lakewood School District Superintendent Scott Peacock will step down in June. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Lakewood School District Superintendent Scott Peacock will step down in June. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Peacock to step down as Lakewood schools superintendent in June

He said he needs time to recharge. A search for a successor is underway, with the school board hoping to make a hire in April.

LAKEWOOD — A search is underway for a new leader of Lakewood School District after Superintendent Scott Peacock announced he is leaving at the end of June.

Peacock, hired four years ago, informed the school board and staff in late January, and posted a statement on the district website.

“After much personal reflection, I have come to realize that I need to step away from my current role in order to rebuild the sense of wholeness that has anchored my personal and professional relationships,” he wrote.

Reached last week, Peacock said he’s not retiring, though he’s uncertain where his future professional path will take him.

“I just needed a reset personally, to step back and restore a balance in my life, ” he said. “The space of not knowing what’s next and having things be quite open is energizing.”

Peacock, 56, joined Lakewood on July 1, 2019, after nearly 25 years with the Snohomish School District.

School board president Sandy Gotts praised Peacock’s leadership in a period marked by two significant challenges — one political and one historical.

In his first year, the pandemic arrived and voters twice rejected a property tax levy used to pay for staff, services and extracurricular programs not funded by the state. That put a crimp in district budgets.

A year later, as public schools emerged from the pandemic and wrestled with student learning loss, voters changed course and endorsed a levy to restore a critical flow of dollars.

“Scott is a great guy. We adore him. He’s done some great things,” Gotts said. “The district is going to sorely miss him because he has brought so much to the district, creating a place of belonging and a place where students, parents, teachers and the community have come together in a way it never has.”

The board is looking to hire a successor by the end of April.

Applications are due April 3, according to a timeline on the district website. And this month, staff, students, families and community members are encouraged to fill out a survey identifying qualities and skills they would like to see in the next superintendent. The survey is available online in English and Spanish through March 24.

Preliminary interviews are penciled in for April 15. Interviews with finalists could occur April 24, 25 and 27, with a selection on April 28.

Gotts said the school board will look to negotiate a three-year contract with a salary commensurate with comparable districts in the region. The current salary is $223,860, per the website.

Lakewood becomes the latest local school district to undertake a superintendent search.

Last month, the Edmonds School District Board of Directors named Rebecca Miner as their new leader, succeeding Gustavo Balderas who resigned last July. Miner had been Edmonds’ interim superintendent for several months ahead of the decision.

And in January, directors of the Monroe School District hired Shawn Woodward as superintendent. He will begin July 1. He’ll take the reins from interim Superintendent Marci Larsen, the district leader after the July 2022 ouster of Superintendent Justin Blasko, who had been subject of employee complaints.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;; Twitter: @dospueblos.

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