The Wenatchee School District Board of Directors has conculded the search process for a new superintendent. The Board would like to thank all of the stakeholders involved in this process.
Board Selects Dr. Kory Kalahar as Interim Superintendent
The Wenatchee School District Board of Directors announced after a special board meeting on March 1, 2023 that they are authorizing legal counsel to enter into contract negotiations with Kory Kahalar, for the purpose of hiring him as the interim Superintendent of Wenatchee School District for a period of two years, beginning July 1, 2023, with an option to convert into a permanent superintendent contact at any time during the interim period.
Dr. Kalahar has dedicated his 24-year career to serving the students and families of Wenatchee School District. For the last 16 years, Kalahar has led as an assistant principal, principal, and Assistant Executive Director of Learning & Teaching. Kalahar led WestSide High School as principal and was instrumental in transforming the alternative school’s perception in the community and leading the way to its achievement as the only trauma-informed school in central Washington. Kalahar’s knowledge, track records of transformational leadership, and stakeholder raptor will allow for a smooth transition and continued momentum of the district’s strategic plan and Big Six student outcomes. As the only internal candidate among the finalists, Dr. Kalahar will provide much-needed continuity and stability as the district takes on future challenges.
“We had three incredible candidates at the end of our search,” said Wenatchee School Board President Maria Íñiguez. “Kory rose to the top because of his steadfast commitment to achieving courageous educational outcomes for Wenatchee students and his ability to garner the trust and support of stakeholders during a time when we face many significant challenges. We look forward to Kory’s transition into this new role as interim superintendent and a smooth handoff from Bill Eagle.”
Superintendent search firm McPherson & Jacobson conducted the superintendent search process, which included focus groups, community meetings, and an online survey to provide extensive input on the desired qualities of the next superintendent. Consistent themes shared included a person who will provide stability, make a long-term commitment to the district who will, be highly visible, and be able to unite the district.
Wenatchee superintendent Dr. Paul Gordon announced his departure last spring. Since then, Interim superintendent Bill Eagle has provided superintendent services to the district through a contract with the North Central Educational Services District that will end in June 2023.
Meet the Superintendent Finalists
The Wenatchee School District Board of Directors has chosen three finalists for the position of Superintendent. Dr. Kory Kalahar, Dr. Nicolas Wade, and Tavis Peterson will participate in the final round of interviews for the superintendent position on February 21, 23, and 27.
Public Forum Schedule
Meet each of the candidates during a moderated public forum in-person or livestream.
Wenatchee High School
Tuesday, February 21 - Dr. Nicolas Wade [ Watch the forum ]
Thursday, February 23 - Tavis Peterson [ Watch the forum ]
Monday, February 27 - Dr. Kory Kalahar [ Watch the forum ]
Bios and Videos
Read each finalist's bios and find out why they want to be Wenatchee's next superintendent during a 15-20 minute video interview. Stakeholders are invited to share their feedback on each candidate through an online form.
Dr. Kory Kalahar
Dr. Kalahar has a passion for helping the students of the Wenatchee School District learn in a welcoming and safe environment that recognizes the unique characteristics that make them who they are. Kory has been able to engage in and lead this work for the past 24 years as a teacher and Assistant Principal at Wenatchee High School, as Principal of WestSide High School, and now as Assistant Executive Director of Learning and Teaching for the Wenatchee School district. Dr. Kalahar has led the district in Social Emotional Learning, implementing and sustaining the PBIS framework, and guiding our alternative high school to be one of the few certificated trauma-informed schools in North Central Washington. In addition, Kory is leading our Instructional and Operational leaders through the Equity Program Review process and understanding our Promise Statement at a deeper level. Kory has effectively created strong relationships with our community to bring in School-Based Health Centers and opened the door for primary care and mental health support within our schools. Along with transparent leadership and trust, Kory brings a strong background of financial integrity and responsibility. With a desire to learn more about how to support student success on a larger scale, he earned a Master’s Degree in Learning and Technology, his Principal’s Certification, Superintendent Certification, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership through Washington State University. Kory, his wife, Haylee, and their three adult children all live in Wenatchee and enjoy the outdoor recreation of the Valley. Kory is an active member and past president of the Wenatchee Rotary and is the President of the Board of Directors for TOGETHER! for Youth.
Provide Feedback on Dr. Kalahar's Strengths and Weaknesses [ Form closes at 10 AM 2/28/23 ]
Dr. Nicolas Wade
For the past 15 years, Dr. Nicolas Wade has served in a number of capacities in public education that spanned from classroom teacher to building administrator to central office. As a leader in Elmwood Park CUSD #401 and Lexington County School District Two, Dr. Wade has been able to address budget deficits, pursue significant capital improvement projects, close achievement gaps, and expand support services for the benefit of the whole child through strategic planning, stakeholder involvement, and integrity and honesty. Dr. Wade has presented nationally on blended learning, college and career pathways and elementary programming, and has been recognized for his districts’ efforts in fiscal policy, technology, social-emotional learning, organizational leadership and stakeholder communication and engagement. He has served as a consultant on curriculum and assessment development and pedagogy, taught graduate courses on curriculum management and finance, and is part of the AASA National Superintendent Alumni Consortium. Dr. Wade received a Bachelor of Arts from Bradley University, a Master of Education from Benedictine University, and a Doctor of Education from Argosy University-Schaumburg. Dr. Wade and his family are actively involved in their community, and in his spare time he spends it with his Amazing Wife and two boys, pretends to be proficient in golf, aspires to be a chef and is a film buff.
Provide Feedback on Dr. Wade's Strengths and Weaknesses [ Form closes at 10 AM 2/28/23 ]
Tavis M. Peterson has served in the Washington State public schools system for over 23 years across three school districts. He is currently in his fifth year as the Assistant Superintendent of the Wapato School District. Mr. Peterson has led many district wide initiatives, with highlights that include his work in Human Resources, being the district liaison with the Yakama Nation, promoting equitable learning opportunities for students, leading district-wide implementation of positive behavior interventions and supports, addressing student attendance needs, leading student discipline efforts, establishing community partnerships, and promoting district-wide safety. Mr. Peterson's upbringing began in Dallas, TX and included multiple stops due to his father's military service. The majority of his childhood was spent in Colorado Springs, CO before moving to Washington State as a young adult. Mr. Peterson and his wife are proud parents of four wonderful children and also have three grandchildren. Tavis takes pride in his work as an educator in his ability to work with great focus, high levels of intentionality, strong community involvement, accountability, and his ability to develop healthy relationships that support the work of the school district. Mr. Peterson looks forward to the opportunity to combine his experience with the existing expertise within the Wenatchee School District while serving as your next superintendent.
Provide Feedback on Mr. Peterson's Strengths and Weaknesses [ Form closes at 10 AM 2/28/23 ]
Stakeholder Interview Committee
Apply to serve on a committee of students, staff, parents and community members that will meet with each of the superintendent finalists. This committee will provide important feedback to the School Board on candidate strengths and weaknesses. This is not a selection committee. The School Board will make the final decision on which candidate to hire.
Number of seats on committee per category:
2 - Students
3 - Parents
3 - Staff
2 - Community members
*School District Administrators will be appointed to serve on this committee.
Applicants must be able to attend ALL finalist interviews in order to be considered. All interviews will be held at Wenatchee High School (1101 Millerdale Avenue).
February 21, 23 & 27
Wenatchee High School
Application Process and Deadline:
- Applications must be received by February 14 at noon
- Applicant names will be selected via a randomized lottery system on February 15
- Applicants will be notified of their selection by 5:00 PM on February 15. Names will also be posted to the superintendent search website.
Superintendent Stakeholder Interview Committee Members
The following individuals have been selected by randomized lottery to serve on the Stakeholder Committee. Email notifications have been sent with more details on the interviews.
- George Larson
- Michael Gordon
- Brittany Hacho
- Desiree Schmidt
- Savannah Fisher
- Jennifer Krebsbach
- Lisa Moore
- Steve Kolk
- Diego Martinez Castro
- Stacy Apolinar
- Alfonso Lopez
- Mario Avila
The school board voted unanimously to approve hiring executive search firm McPherson & Jacobson to lead the search for Wenatchee's next superintendent. McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C. has been conducting national searches for boards of education since 1991. McPherson and Jacobson has placed over 750 superintendents and other officials in public and non-profit organizations across the United States. McPherson & Jacobson is one of the leading national superintendent search firms
|Closing date for applications||Janurary 12, 2023|
|Board of Directors selects semi-finalists to interview||January 31, 2023|
|Semi-finalists' interview with the Board of Directors||Week of February 6, 2023|
|Finalists' interviews with the Board of Directors||Week of February 13, 2023|
|Site visits||Week of February 20, 2023|
|Selection of new Superintendent||Week of February 27, 2023|
|START date||July 1, 2023|
Executive search firm McPherson & Jacobson will hold two public forums to collect input on the desired leadership qualities, expertise, and experience that matter most to stakeholders in a new superintendent. One session will be facilitated in English and the other in Spanish.
Monday, November 28, 2022 (English)
Wenatchee High School New Commons
1101 Millerdale Ave, Wenatchee
Thursday, December 1, 2022 (Spanish)
Wenatchee High School New Commons
1101 Millerdale Ave, Wenatchee
McPherson & Jacobson has made available an online survey to collect input on the qualities that matter most to you in a superintendent.
The survey is now closed.The survey period ended December 11 at 11:59 PM.
Representatives from McPherson & Jacobson will be holding one hour Zoom meetings just for school employees to share their input.
Staff Zoom Sessions
- November 29 - 4:00 PM - Certificated Staff
- November 30 - 4:00 PM - Classified Staff
- December 5 - 4:00 PM - Certified Staff
- December 8 - 4:00 PM - Classified Staff
During the months of November and December, two consultants from McPherson and Jacobson LLC held in person and zoom meetings with staff students and community members to ask questions to help sort the applicants for the position of District Superintendent. The consultants prepared an executive summary report of the feedback collected through these opportunities.
This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.