New Friday Harbor Elementary School principal to take the reins July 1

Gary Pflueger, principal of Salmon Middle School in Salmon, Idaho, is the new principal of Friday Harbor Elementary School.

Superintendent Michael Soltman recommended him to the school board May 28. The school board endorsed the hiring. Pflueger’s first day on the job is July 1.

Pflueger (pronounced “Flee-ger”) succeeds Jody Metzger, who resigned to pursue possible job opportunities in Kent.

Metzger, a longtime San Juan Island educator, said in a letter to parents dated April 14 that she had surveyed her “career options, financial picture and social possibilities” and determined it was time for her to move to a larger area.

Pflueger will be paid $87,759 a year, depending on budget approval June 25.

Pflueger is a “very effective principal who has a strong record of promoting student achievement, creating a safe and collaborative school climate, and developing positive relationships with students, parents and community,” Soltman said in a press release.

“He understands school administration in a small community, fosters a common vision for excellence and speaks with passion of his commitment to the success of every student.”

Pflueger began his career teaching special education in Pocatello, Idaho. Prior to working in the Salmon School District, he was principal of St. Anthony Catholic School in Pocatello.

He received his master’s degree in educational administration at Idaho State University in 1994. He and his wife, Annie, have two grown sons: Paul, 21, attending Weber State University in Ogden, Utah; and Gus, 18, who attended University of Idaho as a freshman this year and is currently fishing in Cordova, Alaska.

Pfleuger was selected from a pool of 14 candidates and two finalists that were interviewed by the search team. In addition to the team interview, each candidate met with faculty, parents and community members.

The other finalist was Anita Roth, principal intern and elementary literacy facilitator at McCarver Elementary School in the Tacoma School District.

Soltman reported that the search team “had an impressive pool of candidates to choose from at a time when there were many positions open across the state. We are so pleased that Gary and Annie will be joining our schools and community.”

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