SVSD to seek feedback for selection of permanent superintendent

SVSD looking to fill opening left by former superintendent Lance Gibbon.

A selection process has begun to find a permanent superintendent of Snoqualmie Valley schools.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, the Snoqualmie Valley School Board approved a timeline for the early stages of that process, focused on feedback from staff, students and community members.

“It’s time for us to talk about how we come about determining a permanent superintendent for the Snoqualmie Valley School District,” said Boardmember Carolyn Simpson.

Since September, Dan Schlotfeldt, a long-tenured Snoqualmie Valley School District employee, has been serving as the district’s interim superintendent. He filled an opening left by former superintendent Lance Gibbon, who resigned at request of the school board this fall after reaching a separation agreement.

With the assistance of GR Recruiting, a headhunting firm, the district will spend approximately the next month seeking feedback through interviews, focus groups and a community survey. That survey is expected to be available by Jan. 25.

The process is being administered by Jim Hager, a recruiter and former public school employee, who helped the district with its recruitment of Rob Manahan, who served as the district’s superintendent between 2018 and 2021.

But unlike in the recruitment of its two prior superintendents, this is a selection process focused on re-affirming its decision, rather than a candidate search process, said Conor Laffey, a district spokesperson.

“This is not a search process. The board will solicit feedback from students, staff, parents, and the community to determine the selection of the permanent superintendent, which would/may be Interim Superintendent Dan Schlotfeldt,” he wrote in an email. “This selection process offers key stakeholders an opportunity to share their priorities and input regarding our school district’s leadership before the board confirms their selection for this important role.”

If all goes according to schedule, the information gathering period would end Feb. 16, with survey results and feedback being presented to the school board.

“It’s a very tight schedule but its an important thing we need to consider because we are in this limbo and we need to make decisions,” Boardmember Ram Dutt Vedullapalli said.