As of Thursday, March 3, 2016
YAKIMA There are now two school superintendent searches in the Lower Valley after Educational Service District 105’s board hired Grandview’s top educator yesterday.
Kevin Chase, 54, starts work as the regional district’s superintendent on July 1. He has been the superintendent of Grandview schools for the past seven years and before that held the same post in the Mabton School District.
“It’s sad for Grandview but I am very proud of him, it’s a natural progression in his career,” Grandview School Board chairperson Elizabeth Alba said.
She called Chase’s promotion a “…a win for us.” Alba explained, “We’ll still have him as a resource and I’m sure we will lean heavily on him to pick his replacement.”
Sunnyside schools, too, are looking for a new superintendent with Rick Cole’s resignation effective July 1 following his driving under the influence of alcohol charge in January.
Chase is a Sunnyside High School graduate and began his education career 30 years ago as a vocational agriculture teacher in Granger.
He was vice principal at Sunnyside High School before becoming Mabton’s assistant superintendent in 1997.
Chase said he will keep his Lower Valley roots even as he makes the move to a post in Yakima.
“I grew up in Sunnyside and have worked and lived in the Lower Valley my entire career,” he said. “I still plan to live in the Lower Valley and my job will allow me to continue to support the districts in this region so I am not leaving, just trying a different role to help.”
When he starts work for the regional service district, which supports more than 60,000 students in south central Washington, Chase said his first priority will be a listening tour of sorts.
He said he plans to “…get to know the agency and its many services and staff, get on the road and listen to the needs of the districts and schools in our region, get prepared for all of the challenges we can help support our students with.”
Chase replaces Superintendent Steve Myers, who retires at the end of June.
“Kevin is highly respected by the superintendents in this region,” Myers said. “There’s no doubt he will take the agency’s work into the next level, and improve our practices toward increasing student success in the classroom for all children.”
As for the Grandview School District’s transition, Alba said next up for the board will be asking staff to help with reviewing the duties of the next superintendent.
“I’m sure will have to do some special meetings,” she said.
The school board meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Grandview High School library, 1601 W. Fifth St.
Alba said the superintendent search will be on the agenda. “I’m sure we’ll be discussing it in executive session,” she said.