School Board seeks interim superintendent

School Board seeks interim superintendent
Posted on 10/15/2019

The search for an interim superintendent is underway, following the Sept. 30 resignation of former Superintendent Tony Giurado and the acceptance of a separation agreement by the Tahoma School Board.

The School Board discussed options for filling the superintendent position during its annual planning meetings on Oct. 4 and 5, held at Central Services Center. The board agreed to seek an interim superintendent to oversee the district until July 2021.

According to the plan, the School Board invited current Tahoma principals and other administrators to apply for the position by Oct. 14. The board will interview candidates and make a selection at its Oct. 22 meeting.

The person selected for the position would be provided support and mentoring in order to guide the school district through the remainder of the current school year and the 2020-2021 school year. The timing provides stability as voters elect two new School Board directors in November and as the district prepares for a levy election in 2020. It also allows ample time to conduct a superintendent search in the 2020-2021 school year.

The other option that was considered by the School Board would have required Acting Superintendent Lori Cloud to remain in that role for the remainder of the school year while the board conducts a formal recruitment process for a new superintendent. Cloud told the School Board she would support what the board decides but prefers to return to her regular duties as assistant superintendent and director of finance and operations. The board agreed, and chose the interim superintendent plan. During the discussion, Cloud said she is not interested in becoming superintendent on a permanent basis.

Giurado’s resignation prompted numerous questions from Tahoma parents and staff, seeking more information about the sudden decision. The School Board issued two statements and posted the separation agreement on the district’s BoardDocs website. Board President Didem Pierson said the decision was made in the best interest of the district and Giurado.

“Ultimately, we simply were not the best match for each other. We want the best for Tony and for the District. We feel this agreement is the right choice for both parties,” she said.

The board heard public comments regarding the resignation at its Oct. 8 meeting. Representatives of the district’s labor organizations (Tahoma Education Association, Public School Employees union and the principals association) delivered a joint statement of support for the School Board. 

TEA President David Aaby read the statement, which concluded with a call to unite in support of students: “We recognize that we are better together; a unified school system of teachers, support staff, administrators, parents but most of all, our students. Now is the time to come together, to stand as one, to face our challenges and to make one another step toward a better place for our students to learn and to grow.”

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