Three unnamed finalists vie for superintendent job

Source: The Wenathee World


WENATCHEE — Three finalists for the Wenatchee superintendent job are being invited for a second round of interviews Feb. 19, 20 and 21, with one candidate scheduled each day.

Unlike the first round, which the board conducted in closed session Monday and Tuesday, the second round includes opportunities for the public to meet the selected candidates.

Their names, though, are not being released until the day before each candidate is scheduled to visit. The identity and a short bio of the next day’s finalist will be released at that time.

The board narrowed the list following the last interview Tuesday. The hired executive search firm, HYA Associates, started conducting background checks on the finalists first thing Wednesday, said Diana Haglund, the district’s communications director.

The reason the identities of the candidates are being revealed day-by-day has to do with creating an equal playing field, said Board President Sunny Hemphill.

The intent isn’t secrecy. They won’t be wearing masks,” she said. “We are rolling it out this way to make certain each of the candidates is afforded the same courtesy and that we do it in an organized manner, respect everyone’s privacy and the ability to be received by the community in the same way. The approach was decided on by the board in consultation with HYA.”

The day-long interviews start at 8 a.m. and wrap up at 8:30 p.m.

A committee of 20 stakeholders (parents, students and school staff) will interview the candidate-of-the-day from 8 to 10 a.m. Candidates will then tour the district, ending up at Wenatchee High School for a meeting with students. A lunch meeting with select community leaders will follow.

Public forums, moderated by HYA Associates with pre-selected questions, are scheduled from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Wenatchee High School, 1101 Millerdale Ave. Members of the public can submit suggestions for questions through Feb. 15 at

After the public forum, the consulting firm will meet with board members to provide feedback garnered from the day’s events. Board members will then meet with that day’s candidate for dinner and an interview.

The finalists chosen are all incredible,” Hemphill said. “I can’t wait for our stakeholders to meet the finalists and provide feedback that will help the board make our final selection.”

The hope is to announce the appointment of a new superintendent on March 12.

Current Superintendent Brian Flones announced in August he is stepping down at the end of this school year, after serving 19 years in the job and 32 years working in the district.

Reach Nevonne McDaniels at 509-664-7151 or .