John Harrison, executive director of schools at the Bellevue School District.

John Harrison, executive director of schools at the Bellevue School District.

Six in running for Arlington School District superintendent

ARLINGTON — Six semifinalists have been announced for the superintendent job to lead the Arlington School District.

Current Superintendent Kristine McDuffy is scheduled to start work as superintendent for the Edmonds School District on July 1. The Arlington School Board plans to offer a contract to a new superintendent at its June 13 meeting to avoid a gap in leadership.

Board members are on a tight timeline. The semifinalists are expected to be interviewed during a public meeting at Weston High School, 4407 172nd St. NE, on Saturday. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. People who attend can take notes and give the board written suggestions about the candidates.

From there, the board plans to select three finalists for the district’s top job. The finalists would visit Arlington on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, one candidate each day. The plan is to have them tour the schools and talk with students and employees. Community meetings are scheduled for 6:30 each evening at Haller Middle School, 600 E First St., so people can ask questions of the candidates and fill out forms with their thoughts about each one. That feedback is going to be considered as the school board makes its choice.

The Arlington School District has about 5,400 students at nine schools. The superintendent job is expected to pay a $220,000 base salary, though there may be additional compensation offered such as a stipend if the candidate has a doctoral degree. McDuffy makes $243,394 plus a $5,000 stipend.

The district received 17 applications for the job, school board president Ursula Ghirardo wrote in a letter to the community. The semifinalists were chosen based on their applications and references, comments from focus groups and results from an online survey posted in early May to gather ideas from people in Arlington.

The six semifinalists are:

John Harrison, executive director of schools at the Bellevue School District. He also has worked as a high school principal and a social studies and physical education teacher.

Roberta Kramer, superintendent at the Riverside School District in Eastern Washington. She’s been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and an instructor at the University of Idaho.

Carolyn O’Keeffe, deputy superintendent at the Northshore School District. She has worked as an assistant superintendent, high school teacher, teacher coordinator, director of secondary education and assistant director of world languages and English as a second language.

Andrew Rogers, superintendent at Liberty Elementary School District in Arizona. He previously worked as the executive director of student services in Marysville, principal at College Place Middle School in Edmonds and a middle school teacher and assistant principal in Shoreline.

Marci Shepard, superintendent at the Orting School District. She also has been a teacher, building administrator, assistant superintendent and director for teaching, learning, assessment and technology. She’s worked in Sequim, Enumclaw and Orting.

Chrys Sweeting, assistant superintendent at the Puyallup School District. She’s worked as a teacher’s assistant, teacher, curriculum specialist, assistant principal, principal and director of special services. Sweeting was the other finalist for the Edmonds superintendent position that McDuffy is taking.

Updates on the superintendent search are available online at the district’s website,, by clicking the “Superintendent Search” link near the top of the page.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439;

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