Marysville School Board members discuss the search for a new superintendent over a Zoom meeting on Nov. 3. (Marysville School District)

Marysville School Board members discuss the search for a new superintendent over a Zoom meeting on Nov. 3. (Marysville School District)

Search is on for new leader at Marysville School District

Two months ago, the School Board approved an agreement to let superintendent Jason Thompson go.

MARYSVILLE — After months of uncertainty at the top, Marysville is slated to have a new superintendent by the end of the school year.

“As far as victories go, we’re on track to put a superintendent in place that will do Marysville School District great justice,” said Paul Galovin, Marysville School Board vice president.

Last week, the Marysville School Board moved to hire GR Recruiting to lead a national search for the district’s new superintendent.

The district put out a bid and used a rubric to score recruiting firms before narrowing it down to the final two. “Both interviewed really well,” Board President Vanessa Edwards said. “One was just a little bit more marketing — as a sales pitch. The second had heart.”

Former Edmonds School District Superintendent Dr. Kris McDuffy, now a recruiter with the agency, will lead the search.

Former Edmonds School District Superintendent Dr. Kris McDuffy will lead the search for a new Marysville School District superintendent. (Submitted photo)

Former Edmonds School District Superintendent Dr. Kris McDuffy will lead the search for a new Marysville School District superintendent. (Submitted photo)

“Our job is to make the board’s job hard and to bring some really dynamic candidates to them,” said Sandi Gero, GR spokesperson.

The search process is underway this week, just two months after the board approved an agreement to let Superintendent Jason Thompson go.

In March, just a few days before he began a medical leave of absence, Thompson filed a complaint against Marysville School Board President Vanessa Edwards and Deputy Superintendent Lori Knudson. He alleged age discrimination and claimed Edwards and Knudson were working together to “target” executive-level employees. Investigators hired by the district found insufficient evidence to support most of Thompson’s claims.

He’s being paid $21,629.85 per month until his resignation takes effect at the end of the school year.

People living within district boundaries can share what they are looking for in a new superintendent through an online survey that launched Friday at Participants will be asked what leadership style they want in a superintendent, ranked on a scale from collaborative to authoritative; what eight leadership traits they believe are most important; and what they see as the three most important issues for the new superintendent to address.

The survey will be available through Nov. 29. Meanwhile GR representatives will meet with representatives from different community groups via Zoom or in person to gather further input. Those interested in participating in these conversations can contact Marysville schools executive assistant Toni Bartley.

The search is to begin by the second week of December, and the top candidates will be shared with the board in mid-January.

Getting the right finalists is essential, Edwards said.

Outgoing Superintendent Jason Thompson was appointed to the role in 2018 after former superintendent Becky Berg stepped down for health reasons. Back then, some school board members asked for a national search.

“It’s why we pushed very hard — and I push very hard — that we bring in a search firm and we do it correctly,” Edwards said. “That we have the full community look and take part in it.”

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

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