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Dayton School District will interview three contenders for superintendent job

DAYTON— Officials here have narrowed finalists for the superintendent of Dayton School District job to three candidates.

The position, which includes being principal of Dayton Elementary School, will open July 1 with the June 30 retirement of Doug Johnson.

All three candidates — Effie Dean, Guy Strot and Andie Webb — are currently working within the state.

The candidates are scheduled to participate in final district interviews with Dayton’s administrative staff and Dayton School Board members on Feb. 10.

A community forum will follow, 6:30-7:30 p.m., in Dayton High School’s auditorium. All school staff and residents are encouraged to attend.

The school board expects to announce its selection by Feb. 19.

Dean is assistant superintendent for the Royal School District in Royal, Wash., close to Moses Lake. Dean has worked in education for 30 years, in roles from school psychologist to principal to assistant superintendent, mostly in rural school districts, she said.

She earned her various credentials, including a doctorate, at Washington State University, and has a focus on special education.

Dean said her grandparents lived in the Tri-Cities, and she is familiar with the area. She likes to camp, hike and bike with her daughters, one of whom is studying veterinary medicine while the other daughter is getting a master’s degree in pharmacy medicine.

Strot works in the Kalama School District. The city of Kalama is in the Longview, Wash., area.

Strot is in his fifth year as principal at Kalama High School, which has just under 1,000 students. He spent four years as special education director and principal in Lind Elementary and Lind-Ritzville Middle schools. Strot said he also taught high school in Portland.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Portland, his teaching master’s from Concordia University and superintendent credentials from Western Washington University.

Collaboration has helped him succeed as an administrator and in retaining staff, Strot said, adding he keeps centered on students.

He overhauled Kalama’s special education department, raised the school’s graduation rates and worked to pass a $65 million bond there, Strot said.

Webb is principal at Central Elementary School in the Hoquiam, Wash., School District on Grays Harbor.

She grew up in Prosser, where her mother still lives, and earned all of her education credentials, including a doctorate, at Washington State University, Webb said.

“I’m a huge Cougars fan. Go Cougs!”

Her 25 years in education include five years in the Middle East as a director at an American school. In the United States, Webb said, she has focused on teaching agriculture and science, with a passion for CTE, or career and technical education.

Webb has also worked in Oregon, including as an assistant principal in Milton-Freewater, she said.

Webb taught CTE in elementary, middle and high schools, and has been a CTE director for 15 years.

As an administrator, Webb places great importance on professional development for staff, she said. Her doctoral dissertation was in teacher evaluations.

Another focus is improving instruction and learning within the classroom, she added.

Away from school, Webb said, she likes to indulge a love for travel.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at or 509-526-8322.

Sheila Hagar has written for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 1998. Sheila covers education in the Walla Walla Valley. She also writes a column, Home Place, usually highlighting family life and slices of local life.