FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Enumclaw School District announced today that Melynda O’Brien has resigned from her one-year post as District 4 Director of the School Board of Directors effective Monday, October 11, 2021.
Melynda shared that her resignation is not a reflection on the teachers, building leaders, or the school district as a whole, but she believes this is the best decision for her family and herself at this time and she will continue to support the Enumclaw School District and all the work they do for the students of the Enumclaw and Black Diamond communities.
“I have loved my time on the board and I have a renewed appreciation for how amazing our district is. This last year, particularly the last 6 months, has been incredibly difficult for all of us and ultimately I need to do what is best for my family. I look forward to continuing to support the district in other ways.” - Melynda O’Brien
The Director position for district #4 is up for election in November, less than 90 days from Director O’Brien’s resignation. The candidate elected in November will fill the district #4 position. More information on this process will be made available on the Enumclaw School District website.
For Immediate Release
Chris Beals Selected to Support Professional Learning for School Administrators
Enumclaw Deputy Superintendent Chris Beals was selected by the Washington Association of School Administrators to support Professional Learning for teaching and learning school administrators across the state of Washington.
Chris has served as both a building and district administrator in the Enumclaw School District for the past 28 years, following the ten years he served as a classroom teacher in the Kent School District, the Auburn School District and in Ohio.
He began his service in the Enumclaw School District in his first principalship at Black Diamond Elementary when the school served just 180 students. After six years, he was chosen to serve as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for six additional years. Chris then moved to serve as principal of Sunrise Elementary School for nine years, beginning when the school transitioned to becoming a K-5 school. The past seven years have found Chris serving as Director of Instructional Technology & Assessment, as well as most recently serving as Deputy Superintendent.
Chris has a long history within this community, serving as one of the founding members of the Enumclaw Schools Foundation and a member of the Rotary Club of Enumclaw. Chris also served in many roles of partnership with community organizations over the years including the Black Diamond Police Department, Enumclaw Arts Commission, Kids Voting Enumclaw, and the community-wide Ten Million Minutes What Book Are You Reading Campaign.
Dr. Shaun Carey, Enumclaw School District Superintendent stated, “Chris Beals has been a friend to and champion of public schools for the majority of his adult career. He has helped to shape young lives, be a leader of learning, and serve as an ambassador of positivity and goodwill in this community. It has been a privilege to work with and learn from him this past year, and I wish him the very best in this next chapter of life.”
Chris is set to begin his new position in mid-August.
Jill Burnes has graciously agreed to serve as the interim Deputy Superintendent, in the wake of Chris’ recent departure from the district. Although she will be “wearing a lot of different hats,” covering this role and supporting others, we are confident in her knowledge, skills, and ability to be successful in this new role.
For Immediate Release
Anthony (Tony) Clarke Selected as Principal of Enumclaw Middle School
After a thorough but urgent search, vetting, and interview process, Enumclaw School District is proud to announce Anthony (Tony) Clarke has been selected as Enumclaw Middle School Principal beginning July 1, 2021.
Mr. Clarke’s name may seem familiar to you as he was one of the finalists for the EHS principal position. As was shared several months ago, Mr. Clarke has held a variety of positions in his twenty-three years in education. He began working as an instructional associate and wrestling coach in San Jose Unified School District. After completing his Bachelor of Arts in History and receiving his teaching certificate from San Jose State University he was hired as a social studies teacher at East Side Union School District. He taught at East Side for two years before relocating to Washington State. In 2005 Mr. Clarke accepted a position teaching Social Studies and coached wrestling at Bonney Lake High School. In 2011 Mr. Clarke began a Masters of Education Program at the University of Washington. Over a two-year period, he completed a year-long administrative internship at Bonney Lake High School, earned a master's degree, received his administrative certificate and transitioned to the position of assistant principal of Bonney Lake High School. As his sixth year as an assistant principal ends, Tony shared ”I am so excited to join the Enumclaw family and to be an EMS Timberwolf. I am honored to serve this community”.
Mr. Clarke plans to host several opportunities for EMS students, families and staff to engage in a “meet and greet” event with him in the coming weeks. This information will be shared as soon as the dates and times are selected. Enumclaw School District welcomes Tony to our district and we are excited for him to begin this month as Enumclaw Middle School Principal.
For Immediate Release
Dr. Rodrick Merrell Selected as Principal of Enumclaw High School
After an extensive search, vetting, and interview process, Enumclaw School District is proud to announce Dr. Rodrick “Rod” Merrell has been selected to as Enumclaw High School Principal beginning July 1, 2021.
Dr. Merrell began his teaching career as a high school English teacher, teaching in both the Issaquah and Coupeville School Districts. After ten years of teaching, Dr. Merrell moved into his first administrative role as the assistant principal at Mountlake Terrace High School. Following his role as the assistant principal, Dr. Merrell accepted the position of Principal at Langley Middle and High School and later became Principal at Mount Vernon High School.
If you bump into Dr. Merrell on the street, he might be wearing purple and gold! Merrell earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership all from the University of Washington. Upon earning his Doctorate he accepted a central office position in the Marysville School District as the Executive Director of Secondary Schools. Dr. Merrell shared, “I truly miss working in a building and the opportunity to work alongside other administrators, certificated and classified staff, students and parents in the pursuit of continuous improvement.” With that statement, Dr. Merrell is excited for the opportunity to move back into the position he is most passionate about, high school principal. “I have been an educator for over twenty-five years, a school administrator over fifteen years, and a principal for twelve years. I am ready to take my leadership to the building level and work with others to improve educational outcomes for all students.”
Enumclaw School District is excited to welcome Dr. Merrell to our district. The district appreciates the input and participation from ESD staff, students and our communities in the selection process and ESD is excited for Dr. Merrell to begin his journey at Enumclaw High School on July 1, 2021.
Tina McGann Announces her Resignation from the Enumclaw School District Board of Directors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Enumclaw School District announced today that Tina McGann has resigned from her nine-year post as District 4 Director of the School Board of Directors effective July 24, 2020.
Tina McGann will be relocating her family out of state. Tina shared that her resignation is not a reflection on the teachers, building leaders, or the school district as a whole, but she believes this is the best decision for her family at this time and will continue to support the Enumclaw School District and all the work they do for the students of the Enumclaw and Black Diamond communities.
Tina has been acting District 4 Director & WIAA Representative for nine years and has always been an active member of the ESD community. Tina has three children that have all attended Black Diamond Elementary, Thunder Mountain Middle School, and Enumclaw High School. Her oldest son is a recent graduate of the Enumclaw High School Class of 2020. Tina has been involved with the PTA and has served on the PTA board as the President and Secretary. She has also worked on levy elections, co-chaired the Enumclaw Schools Foundation Full Day Kindergarten Auction, and often volunteered in classrooms. During her time on the board, Tina was a key contributor to launching ESD’s Theory of Action. She has helped to merge the communities of Black Diamond and Enumclaw and championed the district’s bond to build the brand new Black Diamond Elementary and Enumclaw High School buildings. She is passionate about Career and Technical Education and led the expansion of programs through the rebuilding of Enumclaw High School. She oversaw the agreement to secure land for school sites in Black Diamond and has been an advocate for school impact fees in both cities. Tina championed Early Childhood Education and the opening of the Birth to Five Center. Tina also participated as an instrumental leader for the Enumclaw Football Foundation, as a business sponsor of many school district and community initiatives, and was honored as Black Diamond Citizen of the Year. Enumclaw School District is grateful for Tina’s service on the board and for her dedication to all students and the district as a whole. ESD wishes her well as she prepares for this next chapter.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve this district and community for 8.5 years. This district is truly amazing and filled with the best, most caring individuals who always put what is best for kids first. They are working hard to do the right things to make certain that the health and safety of our students and staff are at the forefront of whichever model for learning is chosen. I will always be a supporter and will forever advocate for this district! We are keeping our home here so if/when things change at the state level, we are able to move back. I am sad to leave this strong team, but I have complete confidence in this district and look forward to hearing of the many successes to come in the future.” - Tina McGann
Nelson Selected to Lead Statewide Professional Learning for School Administrators
Longtime Enumclaw Superintendent Mike Nelson was selected by the Washington Association of School Administrators to lead Professional Learning for school leaders across the state of Washington. For the past 21 years, Nelson has served as an administrator in the Enumclaw School District. Nelson began working in the district in July 1999 as assistant superintendent. He took over the role of superintendent in January 2007 and is currently the longest-serving superintendent in King County and one of the longest in the state of Washington. Last year, he was recognized as the 2019 Washington State Superintendent of the Year.
Nelson has a long history with this community. Both sets of his grandparents immigrated to Enumclaw/Black Diamond in the early 1900’s. His parents, his brothers and two children all joined him in graduating from Enumclaw High School. He considered serving public education in the community in which he was raised a blessing to he and his family.
During the 21 years as one of the top two positions in the Enumclaw School District, Nelson and his team have focused their work on developing systems for all students. As a result, numerous gains and additions to academics, athletics and activities, as well as celebrations of accomplishments have occurred. Here are a few that might be intriguing to highlight:
- Strong academic and achievement gains
- Implementation of full day kindergarten for all students before it was a state requirement
- Expansion of advanced placement courses
- Expansion of activities such as equestrian, gymnastics and lacrosse
- Several state athletic and academic championships
- Building and expansion of the arts and career technical education programs
Nelson’s vision has always been an active part in the Enumclaw and Black Diamond communities. During the last 21 years, he has worked with several mayors, chamber executive directors and other non-profit leaders in striving to make this community a wonderful place for children and adults. He served multiple terms on the Enumclaw Chamber Board of Directors, including being president in 2003. Nelson is a member of the Enumclaw Rotary Club where he served as their president in 2016. He was also appointed to serve on the Enumclaw Arts Commission in the early 2000’s and was honored as Enumclaw’s Hometown Hero during that time. In 2000, he established the “Books for Babies” with Enumclaw attorney Dale Holland. For the past 20 years, approximately 6,000 book packets have been given to moms and their newborns at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Last summer, he and his wife Britt served as the Grand Marshals of the 4th of July Parade.
Making a difference in the community and doing so with school district initiatives has been a value for Nelson. In 2001, Enumclaw students and their families were joined by community members in reading 10,000,000 minutes. This goal culminated with an event filling the grandstands at Enumclaw Stadium and parachute jumpers landing on the field to celebrate literacy. Currently, during the long term closure of public schools, this community challenge was resurrected. In 2011, the Enumclaw and Black Diamond Communities embraced compassion and kindness by capturing acts of kindness throughout the community. Once again the Enumclaw Stadium was filled with people as one giant chain link of “kind acts” was walked onto the field by students, staff and community members. Both events, symbolic in nature, represent Nelson’s desire for a better community. Nelson is a founding member of the Enumclaw Schools Foundation. He has served from the beginning of this foundation to raise money to support Enumclaw Schools.
It has been important to Nelson to lead a fiscally sound budget. His years as the public school leader for Enumclaw and Black Diamond included enduring the recession of 2008 - 2012. He worked with his board to be strategic in reductions to not reduce or eliminate programs in a way that would be harmful after the recession ended. During his tenure as superintendent, there were seven levy or bond elections. All seven were supported by the citizens of the Enumclaw School District. Building the new Black Diamond Elementary School and Modernizing Enumclaw High School before the growth occurred and before there was a need for new schools was an important goal.
His parents were the ones to encourage him to work with children. They also were the ones to encourage professional attire. Nelson wears a suit to work every day. In the beginning, it was a basic black, gray or blue suit. Always shopping online, one day a suit arrived with a pattern. During the first time he wore it, he had several high school students comment how “cool” they thought his suit was. From this moment forward “suit guy” began to expand his suit collection from the traditional black, gray or blue.
Tina McGann, Enumclaw School Board President states, “Enumclaw School District has been fortunate to have Nelson’s leadership and vision over the course of his tenure, and he will be greatly missed as superintendent by the school board, staff, students and community members. We wish Mr. Nelson much success in his new position.”
Nelson is set to begin his new position on July 1, 2020. The Enumclaw School District Board of Directors will begin their search and selection for Nelson’s replacement in the coming weeks with a new superintendent in place by July 1, 2020.