Courtesy Eatonville School District: Gary Neal
Courtesy Eatonville School District: Gary Neal

The Eatonville School District Board of Directors announced last week that they have selected Gary Neal, K-12 programs consultant for Vanir Construction Management in Bellevue, to replace Krestin Bahr as the district's superintendent.

Neal will begin in Eatonville on July 1. Prior to being hired at Vanir, Neal was the superintendent of the Sequim School District. According to a May 7, 2019 edition of the Sequim Gazette, Neal resigned in May 2019 with more than one year remaining on his contract. Earlier in 2019, the Sequim School Board opted to not renew Neal's contract in 2019, according to the article. Under Neal's leadership, the Sequim School District hired Vanir to oversee the construction of a $5.75 million capital levy project, according to the Sequim Gazette.

The School Board is expected to finalize Neal's contract at today's meeting.

"I was very excited when the superintendent position opened in Eatonville and for the opportunity to work for a progressive and innovative district,” Neal said in a press release. “Eatonville School District is known for its supportive and involved community powered by a passionate staff and School Board. I am humbled and honored to have been selected and look forward to getting to work!"

Neal was selected as the district's next superintendent after a multi-state search. Neal was one of three candidates, including Jay Brower, Community Connections director for the Bethel School District, and Matt Dillon, superintendent for the Wilder School district in Wilder, Idaho, to meet community members during the interview process May 11 through May 13.

“We chose Mr. Neal for his track record of listening to students, innovation in STEM and CTE programs and his work in equity and social/emotional support, including working with the legislature on anti-harassment/bullying programs,” Eatonville School Board President Jeff Lucas said in a press release.

According to the release, the Eatonville administrative team is excited that Neal brings “a wealth of knowledge around instructional practices and teaching and learning.

“The administration is grateful to have an experienced leader at the help of the district who can continue guiding our work forward with the staff, students and community,” according to the district press release.

Bahr, who has served as superintendent since 2013, will become the superintendent of the Peninsula School District on June 30.