Herren is the choice

Auburn School District’s board of directors on Tuesday chose Deputy Superintendent Dr. Dennis “Kip” Herren as the district’s new superintendent, succeeding the retiring Linda Cowan.

District selects ‘Kip’ to succeed retiring Cowan as the new superintendent

Auburn School District’s board of directors on Tuesday chose Deputy Superintendent Dr. Dennis “Kip” Herren as the district’s new superintendent, succeeding the retiring Linda Cowan.

Directors met in closed-door session after their regular meeting Tuesday then in open session chose Herren over District Associate Superintendent Mike Newman.

Board members said both finalists were especially strong candidates with unique skills, Newman a financial whiz and Herren an expert in curricula. But Herren’s vision for the future impressed them. The third finalist, Elaine Barza, withdrew her name from consideration last week.

“I feel that this school district needs to move up to the next level … and Dr. Herren has the skills and qualities necessary to take us there,” said board member Ray Vefik.

Contacted at home after receiving the call he had hoped for from board president Craig Schumaker, Herren said, “I am on top of the world. My first call was to my mother, then I called my kids to let them know.”

Herren added that he was humbled by the selection and looked forward to getting to work.

Herren came to Auburn in 1979 from East Wenatchee Junior High School, and for the next 10 years taught economics, history and physical education at Auburn High School. In 1989, he became AHS’ dean of students. He served as the school’s assistant principal from 1990 to 1992 and its principal from 1992 to 1997. From 1997 to 2001 he was assistant superintendent of the district. In 2001, he was named deputy superintendent with overall responsibility for curriculum instruction and assessment and for supervision over principals.

Herren earned his doctorate in education from Seattle University in 1992.

A childhood polio victim, Herren also wrestled in high school in California and at San Francisco State. He was head wrestling coach at Auburn for 13 years, and his teams finished in the top 10 nine times in his 13 years. He was elected “AAA” Coach of the Year in 1986.

Former AHS wrestling coach Gene Cerino, who helped bring Herren to the district in 1979, said Herren will bring special qualities to the position.

“I think we are going to enter a new era,” Cerino said. “I think that Kip is an excellent listener and will be available for anybody that has comments on the need for changes in the district. I think he’s a proven leader and really has his hand on the pulse of Auburn.”

The current compensation for the superintendent is $189,663. The school board and Herren, 57, will wrap up their contract negotiations before July 1.

There is no mandatory retirement age for superintendent.

Cowan said the district could fill Herren’s current position by promoting from within or it could open up the process as it does when it hires a teacher or principal.

Cowan said she was proud that both Newman and Herren were officials of the Auburn School District. A third finalist from outside the district dropped out of contention last week.

“I think it speaks highly of the talent that we have in the school district, and that we are known so well for that fact likely caused some people to choose not to apply because we have such internal strength,” Cowan said.

More in News

Spreading some holiday cheer

JCPenney teams up with Seahawks to bring joy, gift cards to deserving Auburn Valley Y kids

Auburn United, a Night of Basketball & Giving

Trojans, Lions doubleheader on Dec. 20 will raise money to benefit Auburn boy and Seattle Children’s in their fight against kidney cancer

Special tribute to the fallen

U.S. Army veterans Chriss Moen and Debi Lovelace, a Navy mother, salute… Continue reading

Utility work scheduled for C Street SW, 1st Street SW to 8th Street SW

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, and Wednesday, Dec. 19, utility work by Potelco… Continue reading

A woman works on a drawing next to an unused viewing scope as a smoky haze obscures the Space Needle and downtown Seattle last August as smoke from wildfires moved across the region. (Photo courtesy of The Herald/Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)
Why do Washington voters struggle with climate change policies?

Despite environmental awareness and the public’s apparent desire for reform, statewide initiatives keep failing

Stokesbary encourages students to sign up for the House Page Program

‘It is a fantastic program with a strong history’

Food, fun and a special visit

Families enjoy entertainment and breakfast with Santa | PHOTOS

Overnight lane closures this Friday and Saturday near the I-405/SR 167 interchange in Renton

For the Reporter Late-night and weekend drivers who use State Route 167… Continue reading

‘Smiles at Christmas’

Auburn church gives away toys to families in need

Most Read