Bob Winters, the principal of Methow Valley Elementary School for the past four years, has announced that he will retire at the end of this school year.
With Winters’ retirement, the Methow Valley School District is looking for two new principals, since Liberty Bell High School principal Deborah DeKalb is also retiring this year after two decades with the school district.
Winters has had a 34-year career in education, as an elementary and middle-school teacher for 25 years, and an administrator for nine years.
At Methow Valley Elementary, Winters has helped chaperone the authorization of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and guided adoption of new curriculums in math and reading. He was involved with the IB program as both a teacher and an administrator before coming to the Methow.
“Being your elementary principal has been a remarkable experience for me, and I have many mixed feelings as I prepare to leave,” said Winters. “But I know that your children remain in capable, caring and experienced hands, and the encouragement and support you provide is uncommon and so significant.” Winters intends to remain in the Methow Valley, according to the school district.
“There’s a deep sense of loss associated with these retirement plans, balanced with a unique opportunity in search and selection for two new district leaders,” said Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable. “It’s an opportunity to momentarily hit the pause button — for staff, students, parents and community members to reflect on where we’ve been, where we’re at, and where we’re headed.”
The school district is soliciting input about the qualities and background community members would like to see in the next elementary school principal. People can provide input at three meetings in the elementary school library. The meetings are:
• Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 1 to 2 p.m., for staff.
• Thursday, Feb. 7, from 2 to 3 p.m., for parents and community.
• Thursday, Feb. 7, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., for parents and community.
People can also provide input through a survey on the school’s website at methow.org.
Anyone interested in serving on the interview committee for an elementary school principal should complete the application on the school’s website.
LBHS principal search
The search committee for a Liberty Bell High School principal is currently reviewing applications. The application deadline was Friday (Jan. 25).
The district held several community meetings to get input about qualities desired in a high school principal. A search committee composed of staff and community members reviewed nine applications and plans to select three to five for interviews, said Venable.
Initial interviews will be conducted the week of Feb. 4. The selection process will include a search committee interview, school tour with students and teachers, a written exercise, an interview with the superintendent, and a forum for the community to meet the finalists. No dates have been set for the interviews.
The committee expects to make a recommendation to the superintendent by Feb. 22. The candidate would go to the school board for approval Feb. 27.