Vermeire hired as Lopez principal, Wegener is new interim superintendent at San Juan

Marc Vermeire, for 10 years a teacher — and last year vice principal and athletic director — at Friday Harbor High School, is leaving the district to become principal of Lopez Middle and High schools.

At the same time, the San Juan Island School Board has hired Walt Wegener, student services coordinator of the Toppenish School District, as interim superintendent. At Toppenish, Wegener earns $106,000 a year. Salary negotiations in Friday Harbor are expected to be completed by this weekend, according to Maude Cumming of the superintendent's office.

Wegener succeeds Michael Soltman, who is leaving to become superintendent of Vashon Island schools.

The Lopez Island School Board unanimously approved Superintendent Bill Evans’ recommendation to hire Vermeire as the new secondary-level principal for Lopez schools. He will be principal part-time, and will teach high school science to round out a full-time contract.

His salary is being negotiated. He currently earns $58,920 a year, according to the district office. As a part-time teacher on Lopez, he would earn about half that. As principal, he would receive about half the current $80,000 salary, although that portion is being negotiated, Evans said.

Lopez Middle and High schools have a combined enrollment of about 150 students. The district has fared well in the education funding storm, with no reduction in force other than three one-year teaching contracts that were not renewed.

Vermeire will start as principal July 1; his science position will begin at the start of the 2009-10 school year.

Vermeire has degrees from Augustana College, National Taiwan University, and Western Washington University in Biology and Asian studies. He received his administrative credentials from Western Washington University in 2006 and has been a candidate for principal positions in San Juan schools. Lopez will be his first principal position.

“The Lopez Schools are thrilled to have Marc join our team,” Evans said in a press release. "His credentials are rock-solid and he really impressed the interview teams and all who were part of the process."

The Lopez Island School District continues its search for an elementary principal and a superintendent to fill vacancies created by the retirements of Principal Roland MacNichol and Superintendent Evans.

“The appointment of new leaders to lead the district forward on its journey to excellence is critical, and we are committed to hire the very best leaders out there," Evans said.

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