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Peninsula School District making administrative, athletic staffing changes

Posted on April 18th, 2024 By:

Peninsula School District recently announced staffing changes that will affect its administration and athletic department.

The district is also adding back some of the classified and custodial positions cut last spring amid a $12 million budget reduction, according to a letter sent to staff in March.

According to the letter, two assistant superintendent positions will be “phased out and reimagined as a chief of schools position and a deputy chief of schools position.”

Currently, one assistant superintendent oversees secondary education and the other elementary. Going forward, the chief of schools will supervise administrators of all 17 schools in the district, according to a district news release issued April 5.

Chief of schools named

Superintendent Krestin Bahr in the news release announced that Michael Farmer, superintendent of Dieringer School District in Lake Tapps, has been selected as Peninsula School District’s new chief of schools. He’ll start July 1.

“Farmer was selected from a strong pool of applicants after an extensive interview process with many PSD stakeholders, including students, community members, principals, district administrators, union leaders and the superintendent,” the news release states.

Michael Farmer

“Michael has years of demonstrated innovation working with principals in a central office, and he has been very successful implementing academic excellence and building leadership,” Bahr said. “We are excited about the knowledge and experience he will bring to this role.”

Before working in the Dieringer district, Farmer held the title of Executive Director of Innovation and Learning in the Eatonville School District from 2015-2019, according to his LinkedIn page. Bahr was the superintendent in Eatonville from 2013-2021. Their careers also overlapped in the Tacoma School District between 2010 and 2013.

The salary range on the job posting for chief of schools, which closed March 29, was the same as an assistant superintendent, $187,147 to $207,493. The salary for the deputy chief of schools matches that of an executive director position, $167,096 to $185,262. The district has not announced a hire for deputy chief of schools.

Career and technical education

Bahr also promoted Kelsey Parke, current principal of Kopachuck Middle School, to director of career and technical education. Parke previously was CTE director for University Place School District.

“Her role will be pivotal in preparing students for successful careers and global citizenship, aligning CTE programs with industry standards and workforce needs,” the news release states.

Kelsey Park

“Our team is thrilled to leverage Kelsey’s extensive CTE experience and training in a district she has already made a huge impact on and is admired in,” Bahr said. “We look forward to her leadership in this key role.”

The salary range for a director is $149,194 to $165,413, according to the district’s website.

Parke will begin her new position July 1.

Athletic Department changes

For the upcoming 2024-25 school year, the district will create an administrative role to oversee athletics and activities, according to the news release.

The district is restoring the high school athletic director roles to the positions they held before the pandemic. This will result in the two positions changing to be 0.6 of a full-time position as athletic director and 0.4 of a full-time position as a teacher.

In other changes, one athletic secretary will be assigned to the district admin office. The other will split their time between Peninsula and Gig Harbor high schools.

“These changes will allow the district to create a centralized athletics position, to better serve both high schools equitably,” the news release states. “The Athletics and Activities Administrator will oversee all athletics and activities, including aquatics and community use fields. This position will also be responsible for serving as the district’s Title IX coordinator,” ensuring gender equity in sports.

Classified positions restored

The district eliminated more than 40 full-time-equivalent, non-teaching positions in spring of 2023, as it trimmed $12 million from its budget for the 2024-25 school year. About half of those came from resignations and retirements.

The cuts included layoffs and reduced hours, 42 percent of which came from the district office.

Among classified staff — secretaries and custodians — 31 positions saw a reduction in hours. Now the district is working to reverse that action, according to the letter sent to staff about upcoming changes.

“We are happy to announce that we are working to restore days and hours for classified and custodial positions that were reduced during last year’s budget reductions,” the letter states. “Some of these have occurred already; the remainder will take effect at the start of the 2024-2025 school year.”