Community stakeholders within the Wenatchee School District were asked what they wished to see in their next superintendent.

Interim Superintendent Bill Eagle will be leaving his position in June 2023.

Lead Consultant for McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, Dr. Steven Lowder, informed Wenatchee School Board members on some of the responses they gathered from their public outreach survey.

Approximately 284 responses were gathered from the survey, 277 in English and seven in Spanish.

The firm asked the four following questions in their survey:

  • What’s good about the community?
  • What’s good about the district?
  • What are the issues the next superintendent will face?
  • What are the qualities a new superintendent will need in order to be successful?

In regards to the community, stakeholders expressed their admiration for Wenatchee Valley’s natural landscape and recreational opportunities, the small-town atmosphere combined with the perks of living in a large community, the region’s strong sense of pride for their region and the abundance of resources available for students and staff within the district.

When asked about what was positive about the district, respondents noted the amount of support dual-language programs receive, growing diversity within the student population, how successful the alternative programs are and how staff seemed supported in their roles.

Regarding what issues the new superintendent may face, common responses included the current budget shortfall the district was facing, the political divide that is present within the community, the growing homeless population, increasing poverty rates, growing needs in the non-English speaking population, and the need to address gang activity in their middle schools.

A common concern shared among respondents was how generational families seemed to control the agenda and that voices from underserved populations were not being heard.

Dr. Lowder mentioned how some of these concerns were popping up across the nation and were not specifically Wenatchee Valley issues

For the last question, community members said the superintendent will need to bridge the political divide in order to be successful in getting critical funds for the aging high school facility.

Stability, leadership, humility, transparency, financial aptitude, and being bilingual in both Spanish and English were listed as favorable traits.

Using the survey responses as a guide, the board will review 19 superintendent candidates during an executive session on Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.

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