Interim school superintendent in West Seattle tonight, two nights before sudden board vote on making him permanent

What was originally billed as a “coffee chat” tonight in West Seattle with Seattle Public Schools‘ interim superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland is suddenly being seen through a different prism: The School Board has decided to vote Wednesday on offering him the permanent job, rather than conducting a search to find candidates. The district didn’t even make an announcement – instead, the planned vote simply turned up on the meeting agenda published just before the long holiday weekend; it was first spotted and reported by Melissa Westbrook via her Seattle Schools Community Forum website.

West Seattle’s board member Marty McLaren has offered her explanation of why she supports giving Nyland the permanent job; if you didn’t see it via her mailing list, you can read it on her website. McLaren writes of Nyland, a former Marysville superintendent, that “in his 16 weeks in his job, he has demonstrated strong leadership, integrity, vast competence in his role, and deep awareness of the importance of relationships, among other vital skills.” If you want to ask her about this, or other current issues – such as the boundary-change concerns – she will be having a community-conversation meeting right after the superintendent’s “chat,” same location, which is Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way) – his meeting is 6-7 pm, hers starts at 7.

And if you’re interested in signing up to speak at Wednesday’s School Board meeting, signups start at 8 this morning, as explained on the right side of this document.

7 Replies to "Interim school superintendent in West Seattle tonight, two nights before sudden board vote on making him permanent"

  • JulNJer December 1, 2014 (5:15 am)

    Great timing! After all of Dr. Nyland’s emails keeping parents posted on the attempted child abduction and student information sent erroneously, I sent an email saying I hope they consider him for permanent Superintendent. He has done a phenomenal job despite all of the crises during his short time as interim. I’m glad he’s being recognized for his efforts.

  • Greg December 1, 2014 (5:18 am)

    I know Larry from when he was the hr director in Highline. He is a great guy and I wish we had his skills in Highline as opposed to our Michelle Rhee light that we have now. Maybe I should change districts….

  • Leslie December 1, 2014 (5:22 am)

    This is a significant violation of public trust and transparency and a railroad job. There is no emergency. There are issues of signing a $750,000 grant prior to the board vote for 1 preschool, (if he didn’t know “procedure”, where was his sr. staff and legal? and why was the signed copy shivved into the record at the last minute in darkness?), the data breach of thousands of students’ FERPA protected records and the mishandling of the Garfield field trip rape case – questions that have had less than complete clear answers.

    Directors Peaslee and McLaren both ran on trust and transparency platforms with considerable help from this community. Neither they, the community, or indeed possible Supt. Nyland are well served by these shenanigans. Very sad.

  • Lynn December 1, 2014 (7:21 am)

    Let’s not forget that Dr. Nyland reported to the board (in response to questions asked by Garfield’s PTSA) that staffing was allocated fairly this fall. When the staffing formulas were applied to enrollment at every school, we were over staffed by a net of 61 teachers. (Several schools were understaffed.)

    Only 12 schools were told they had to recreate their master schedules/reshuffle their classroom assignments or raise the ransom to keep their teacher. The remainder were given a pass.

  • DW December 1, 2014 (10:33 am)

    Good! It’s foolish to have process for process sake. I’m delighted to see forward momentum without a bunch of useless discussion.

  • evergreen December 1, 2014 (12:14 pm)

    Agree with DW. I’m surprised that anyone wants the job, but Nyland is as good a choice as any other character. Skip the drawn out bureaucracy, let’s just fill the job.

  • Ivan December 2, 2014 (9:54 am)

    Yeah, let’s just do what DW and evergreen say. Let’s just dispense with a̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶m̶e̶s̶s̶y̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶c̶e̶s̶s̶ the citizen input that McLaren and Peaslee promised us in their campaigns, and let’s just rubber-stamp everything the staff decides. That’s the same mentality that led to Olchefske (remember him?) “losing” $35 million only 12 short years ago.

    In my experience (former SPS parent), and from what I heard from Nyland’s meeting, the voters and taxpayers had a lot of specific questions for him that he lacked answers for.

    Maybe Nyland is the best person for the job, and maybe he isn’t. But if there’s someone better out there, we would be fools not to find and hire that person.

    If we shouldn’t have checks and balances in selection of a superintendent, then where should we have them at all? Let’s just have a dictatorship of the bureaucracy, would that make you happy?

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