Auburn schools in good hands with selection of Herren

Kudos to school officials for selecting Kip.

Kudos to school officials for selecting Kip.

The Auburn School District Board of Directors made a good choice by tabbing Dr. Dennis “Kip” Herren to replace retiring Linda Cowan as the next superintendent of Auburn schools. The decision, which officially was announced Tuesday, is a sound one. He will assume the position effective July 1.

Herren is a classy, well-respected and intelligent man with a vision. He is all about Auburn and for Auburn. He understands students, athletes, parents, teachers, coaches, custodians, specialists and adversaries. He understands Auburn because he has been there himself – as a husband, father, teacher, booster, coach, principal and administrator.

He has paid his dues, having worked his way up the ladder. For someone who has been in the Auburn district for 29 years and has been an educator since 1976, he is more than equipped and tested to take the job.

He was groomed for the high post, serving lately as the deputy superintendent.

He will prove to be a good fit. He was the right person for the right job at the right time.

The other finalist is a good man, too. Michael Newman, the district’s associate superintendent, might be the right person to follow Herren.

As we usher in Herren’s era, we must say best wishes to Cowan. She performed a remarkable job. She leaves a strong legacy.

And now we make way for Kip.

Support him. Work with him. Grow with him.

On other subjects:


The bare baristas debate continues to rage in the community. The Reporter has received several letters this week, interestingly with a majority of the responses supporting the scantily-clad workers of Cowgirls Espresso.

Several letters we could not print because of some colorful language. Few were rational, others downright crude.

But from the e-mail highway, it seems many customers enjoy having a hot drink served with a lady supporting nothing more than pasties, a thong and a smile.

However, some moms and dads are shouting the loudest. And they want to be heard.Either the laws must change, an ordinance tweaked or the debate will

fester – or wane over time.

But hopefully something can be resolved before a poor bikini-clad barista is scalded by steamed milk.


Lake Tapps’ Lori Anne Stocker is a talented singer, songwriter and mother of three. She is ambitious, determined and willing to take difficult steps.

Above all, she has a heart of gold.

Stocker, a former Miss Auburn, is on a tough mission. She is in the second year of a “paper pregnancy,” the long process of adopting a Chinese orphan girl. She and her husband, Steve, an Auburn police officer, hope the complete the mission this year.

What makes the couple’s situation different is the fact they hope to adopt a 2-year-old girl with special needs. Their adoption agency told them the adoption could happen more quickly if they accepted a child with such needs.

In the meantime, Lori Anne plans to join a Spokane church group in June to deliver supplies and volunteer at an orphanage in China, run by the Philip Hayden Foundation.

For Lori Anne, it is a personal pilgrimage.

“I have a passion for these kids,” she said. “I’m taking it to heart. I want to give something back and help other kids.

“Although we have not completed an adoption yet, we still have a heart to help the orphans of China.”

For those willing to donate to the church group and support Stocker’s mission, please write checks payable to: Valley Fourth Memorial Church, 1402 Lake Tapps Pkwy E, Suite 104 #302, Auburn, WA 98092-8157.

For information on the Philip Hayden Foundation, go to

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