MILTON-FREEWATER — Superintendent Rob Clark of Milton-Freewater Unified School District is one of two candidates for interim superintendent of the Sequim School District in Sequim, Wash.
The Western Washington position opened with the May 6 resignation of Superintendent Gary Neal, who will leave the district June 30 to work with Vanir Construction Management, according to the Peninsula Daily News.
Clark said Friday he wasn’t expecting to be interviewing for a new job before his anticipated retirement in a year or two. That said, Sequim gets him and his wife closer to children and grandchildren, plus a home they own nearby.
The job, should he get it, represents a new challenge, Clark said.
News stories in the Sequim Gazette show the Sequim district has undergone recent challenges, including a harassment lawsuit filed by a middle school employee settled in March for $850,000 and disagreement over the length of the superintendent contract, said Gazette editor Michael Dashiell.
The school district has had problems passing a construction bond in recent years. Dashiell said the two elementary schools are “just packed.”
Sequim is a town of about 6,600 in Clallam County, located in the Dungeness Valley with an overall population of 26,000 or so. The school district is made up of six schools with a student population of about 2,800. Washington’s Office of Public Instruction reports just over 40 percent of students there are eligible for free- or reduced cost meals and about 15 percent require special education services. White students make up 77 percent of the census, while Latino students number at about 11 percent.
Clark said he needs to work another two years in Washington state to retire with full pension benefits. If the Sequim job doesn’t pan out, it likely means finishing his career in Milton-Freewater. And that job, he said, “is as great of an experience I’ve ever had in life.”