Nearly half of the 29 school districts supported by the North Central Educational Service District have new Superintendents as of the school year starting now in the region.

The service district hosted an orientation meeting for all incoming Superintendents earlier this month and is continuing with joint sessions to help with their instructional and business operations.

There are 13 new superintendents in the region, including school districts in Wenatchee, Eastmont, Orondo, Entiat, Lake Chelan and Quincy.

Previous superintendent Paul Gordon resigned at the end of June over family issues that required he move back to the Midwest.

Service District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Price says 13 new Superintendents in a single school year is an extremely high number for the region, and reflects frustration on the part of administrators.

"Basically, anybody close to retiring pulled the plug and said 'We've had enough,'" said Price. "The climate of being a public educator has been challenging and folks were exhausted."

Price says Superintendents grew tired of constantly dealing with an angry and politically charged environment.

"COVID, the politics around COVID, the other political things that were going out and how people treated employees out in their systems in their communities," Price said. "Friends, families and neighbors were not very nice to each other and people were tired."

According to Price, there were 78 Superintendent openings in Washington State this year and more than 200 for principals.

The Service District offers a range of programs to support the 29 school districts it supports with their delivery of education and management of their operations.

It handles various district needs, such as hiring speech therapists that can fill a void in multiple rural districts. It also helps with staffing needs at bigger districts in the region such as Wenatchee or Moses Lake.

The Service District supports school districts in Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties.

Several Superintendents are over two rural districts. Price herself serves as the Superintendent of the Stehekin district.

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