Bremerton Superintendent finalist for Renton job

Bremerton Superintendent Lester
Bremerton Superintendent Lester 'Flip' Herndon has been with the district since 2009.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

Bremerton School District Superintendent Lester "Flip" Herndon is one of three finalists for the superintendent position in Renton.

If Herndon is selected, he would likely begin work in Renton July 1.

Last February, Herndon applied for the superintendent position in the Puyallup School District and, along with six others, made it as far as the semifinalist stage.

He has been with the Bremerton School District since 2009, when he was selected over other two finalists Terry Edwards and Mike Parker.

Herndon grew up in Tacoma. He has a bachelor's degree from Whitman College in Tri-Cities, a master's degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He has held the position of teacher, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent before coming to Bremerton.

Tracy Compton of the Renton Reporter sat down with Herndon during his visit.

The district announced the finalists March 21. This week all three candidates met with district staff, parents, Renton City Council members, business leaders and others in three separate public meetings.

Along with Herndon, the other two finalists are Merri Rieger, chief student achievement officer, Kent Public School District and Crystalee Sweeting, assistant superintendent for instruction, learning, curriculum and assessment of Puyallup school district.

The three finalists spent a day in the district. Each candidate attended a public meeting at one of three elementary schools where members of the public were invited to ask the candidates questions.

Led by the Renton School Board, an advisory panel of community members, parents and district staff held the preliminary interviews of six candidates from a pool of 12 who applied for the position.

Mary Alice Heuschel vacated the position when she was selected as Gov. Jay Inslee's chief of staff. Ten of the candidates were from Washington state, one was from Oregon and another from Hawaii.


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