Superintendent Search Next Steps
La Conner School District Superintendent Finalist Interview
After consideration of staff and community input, the school board requested our search consultants to schedule finalist interviews with two candidates to return to campus for a full interview with various stakeholders on Monday and Tuesday from 8 am-8 pm. The public is encouraged to attend the community meetings at 6 p.m. each night. This is an opportunity for all participants to ask questions of the finalists for the next superintendent of the La Conner School District in the Bruce Performing Arts Center Auditorium and Zoom Link Passcode: 457718 Meeting ID: 847 3190 7797
The survey link is available HERE for participants to submit their comments and feedback for board consideration. Survey information will be submitted and received anonymously.
Meet finalist David Forsythe on Monday, March 29
Finalist David Forsythe will be on campus all day to meet with teachers, staff, students, administrators, Swinomish Tribal Senators and staff, and members of our community. Mr. Forsythe has served in education for 23 years, 8 of those years were at Meridian School District as the Director of Teaching and Learning, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent, and is the current Assistant Superintendent for Northwest Educational Service District 189.
Meet finalist Will Nelson on Tuesday, March 30
Finalist Will Nelson will be on campus all day to meet with teachers, staff, students, administrators, Swinomish Tribal Senators and staff, and members of our community. Mr. Nelson has served Arlington School District for 11 years as a CTE/STEM Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, and currently is the Director of Equity and Student Success since July 2019.
There is an opportunity for the public to ask questions of the superintendent finalists during the public community meetings in person in the Bruce Performing Arts Center Auditorium or Zoom in and submit your questions via chat Zoom Link Passcode: 457718 Meeting ID: 847 3190 7797
The school board of directors will hold a special meeting with an executive session at 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. The board will hold a special meeting with an executive session at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31, to review and discuss stakeholder input and deliberate on the hiring of the new superintendent.
On Saturday, March 27, 2021, from 9:00 am- 2:30 pm, the La Conner School Board of Directors is conducting preliminary interviews of the top five candidates. The interviews are open to the public. Staff and community members are strongly encouraged to attend either in-person, 305 North 6th Street, Bruce Performing Arts Center Auditorium, or via Zoom Webinar.
Saturday, March 27, 2021 Zoom Webinar Link Passcode: 839312 (Please note: When you join, you will be an observer, not a participant).
The survey link is available HERE for participants to submit their comments and feedback for board consideration. The survey should be completed following each interview. Survey information will be submitted and received anonymously. Survey responses will be accepted for 15 minutes after the last candidate's session at approximately 2:40 pm. The board of directors will review the survey results during the 3:00 pm executive session following the interviews.
The semi-finalists, resume, and schedule are as follows:
- 9:00 am - Will Nelson
- 10:00 am - Byron Gerard
- 11:00 am - Beth VanderVeen
- 12:30 pm - David Forsythe
- 1:30 pm - Gary Neal
Please text 360-708-0173 if you have any issues accessing the zoom link or email email@example.com
Following the interviews, the board of directors will meet in an executive session from 3-5 pm in the District Office Board Room to review the survey results and feedback to narrow the selection to three finalists.
The three finalists will interview with various stakeholder groups during the day and participate in a community forum on March 29, 30, and 31st from 6:00-7:00 pm in Bruce Performing Arts Center Auditorium and via Zoom. Each night is for one candidate and questions from the public will be accepted. Following each forum, the board will deliberate in an executive session and are expected to make a final selection on April 1, 2021. Access BoardDocs Here
Semifinalists - The La Conner School Board of Directors is pleased to announce they have selected five semi-finalists to interview publicly on Saturday, March 27, 2021.
The board looks forward to meeting the semi-finalists in this public process and wishes to extend their sincere gratitude and appreciation to everyone who applied.
An invitation to apply closed on March 12, 2021 - Last week, the board met to review the 21 applicants and have selected five semi-finalists that will be interviewed on Saturday, March 27, beginning at 9:00 AM at Bruce Performing Arts Center Auditorium and via Zoom. The group of candidates includes qualified individuals who come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds. You are encouraged to attend in-person or watch the interviews via zoom and provide feedback to the board directors on each of the candidates through survey links available on our website below.
Stakeholder Focus Group Feedback:
Common Threads of Feedback from Focus Groups
The La Conner School Board is looking for community input about leadership characteristics and qualities needed in the next District Superintendent. The Board will use the results of this survey in its search process for a new superintendent. Below are survey links for community stakeholders to complete before March 12, 2021.Survey - Position description and leadership profile survey on the web
Stakeholder Focus Group Invitation
The La Conner School District Board of Directors is beginning its search for the next superintendent and is looking to lead a transparent process with all partners and stakeholders. Input from our district families and community will help shape the profile of what we are looking for in our next superintendent. You are invited to attend a public community forum, via Zoom Webinar with the Northwest Leadership Associates on Wednesday, December 2, @ 7:00 pm or Thursday, December 3, @ 6:30 pm, via zoom webinar
This is an opportunity to provide confidential input and to participate in the process. The purpose is to address three questions:
- What is positive about the LCSD?
- What are the challenges for a new Superintendent in the LCSD?
- What attributes/qualities would you like to see in a new superintendent?
Thank you for taking the time to give the School Board important information about our next superintendent.
Please help the School Board by participating in the survey above.
Superintendent Search Calendar Timeline 2020 - 2021November 9, 2020, @ 6:30 pm - Board approves search plan and timeline
- Zoom meeting with the board president, vice-president, Exec. assistant
November 12, 2020 - Leadership profile survey on the web
- Provides for input from all stakeholders
December 2 & 3 2020 - Focus group meetings with stakeholders selected by Board
December 7, 2020 - Special meeting with Executive Session
- Board will review feedback from Focus Groups
December 8, 2020 - Position on web site and other recruitment activities begin
- Will post on WASA, WSSDA, and other
December 15, 2020 - Brochure completed and vacancy announcement emailed to 3000+ nationwide
February 8, 2021 - Mid-search report/preparation for interview phase (Work Session with the board)
March 12, 2021 - Application deadline
March 17, 2020 - Board Directors review applications
- An executive session with board directors only
March 19, 2021 @ 1:00 PM - Screening report to board
- An executive session with board and NWLA consultants
- Select 5-6 candidates to be invited for preliminary interviews
March 27, 2021 – Saturday Preliminary interviews 8 am-2:30 pm and Executive Session @ 3:00 pm
- 50-minute interviews with a 10-minute break between
- Questions to be developed by NWLA; reviewed and revised by the board
- Executive Session to determine finalists will be held following the final interview to select finalists
Mar. 29, 30, 31 - Final interviews 7:30 am-8:30 pm schedule to include:
- Meetings with community and staff
- Interview with superintendent candidate and board in Executive Session
- Format to be developed by NWLA, and approved by the board
April 1, 2021 - Final background checks
- Contract negotiations/letter of intent
- Special meeting with Executive Session
- Board will review, discuss, and select candidate
April 12, 2021 - Contract to be offered/approved
- Zoom board special meeting
- Offer to be pre-negotiated by consultants
July 1, 2021 - Selected superintendent assumes the position
At their regular meeting on June 22, 2020, the School Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Superintendent, Dr. Whitney Meissner effective June 30, 2020. The School Board has since offered an interim position of Superintendent to Superintendent Rich Stewart while the Board searches for a candidate to take the position beginning no later than July 1, 2021.
At their October 26, 2020, regular Board Meeting, the School Board approved consulting with Northwest Leadership Associates to conduct the Superintendent search and assist the district in its efforts.
Northwest Leadership Associates have assigned two local representatives to conduct the La Conner Search: Dr. Wayne Robertson, former Superintendent of Edmonds and Lakewood School Districts, and Mark Venn, former Superintendent of Sedro Woolley School District. For more information about Northwest Leadership Associates please click here: Northwest Leadership Associates - Introductory Proposal Letter
Questions? Please contact:
La Conner School District Cherri Kahns or 360-757-7346
Northwest Leadership Associates Mark Venn or 360-770-2182
Northwest Leadership Associates Wayne Robertson or 360-770-2182
Survey - The La Conner School Board is looking for community input about leadership characteristics and qualities needed in the next District Superintendent. The Board will use the results of this survey in its search process for a new superintendent. Below are survey links for community stakeholders to complete before March 16, 2021.