San Juan Island School Board update on new superintendent hire, board appointment

Submitted by the San Juan Island School District Board

Kari McVeigh has accepted our offer of employment as interim superintendent.

McVeigh has extensive experience as an educator starting with 11 years in the classroom followed by work as a principal and superintendent in a wide variety of school settings. Her career has been marked by awards and national recognition for her strong instructional leadership, most notably her success in working with instructional leadership teams, Common Core literacy and mathematics, and community-based schooling.

“Ms. McVeigh’s credentials are stellar,” said board chairman John Kurtz, “and the fact that she is an island resident and has already worked coaching our principals means the lag time from hiring to starting effective leadership will be measured in days, not weeks or months.”

The interim superintendent position is for one year, allowing the board, with stakeholders, to conduct a thorough search process for a long-term superintendent.

In addition, T.J. Heller has been selected by the San Juan Island School District Board of Directors to join the board. He will take the position vacated with the resignation of Ralph Hahn.

“The board was truly humbled by the large number of citizen applicants, each of whom would have made us a stronger board. Choosing just one was a challenge,” noted board member Sarah Werling-Sandwith.

Heller will bring to the board a perspective on teaching and learning developed during his ongoing career as the Microsoft manager for development and implementation of effective training programs worldwide.

“We were certainly impressed with his considerable skill,” said board member Jack McKenna, “but just as importantly, T.J. has strong ties to our parent stakeholders.”

Board member positions are for four years and staggered to ensure some experienced members are always serving. The election in November of 2019 will feature board positions 3 and 5. Heller, as the just appointed director 3, can run for a full term at that time. Position 5 will also up for election at that time.