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Flip gets send-off
Everybody had something good to say about Bremerton School District Superintendent Flip Herndon during his last board of education meeting last week.
On Aug. 12, Herndon announced his decision to switch to the Seattle Public School System where he will be the Assistant Superintendent of Capital, Facilities and Enrollment Planning.
Aaron Leavell, who is currently the district’s assistant superintendent, will take the reins until the Bremerton Board of Education makes a decision on Herndon’s replacement.
A public forum will be held on Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. to allow public input on the replacement decision. Herndon’s last day in BSD will be Aug. 31. He starts with the Seattle Public Schools on Sept. 2, just in time for the upcoming school year.
Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent was present for a brief period to thank Herndon for his contribution to the community. Lent offered Herndon with keys to the city for his efforts in the educational community. She also thanked him for working with the board in contributing an old junior high campus to the city for renovation into a Youth Wellness Campus and remarked she was grateful that Leavell had an opportunity to witness Herndon at work.
“I’m very glad your assistant superintendent has spent time with you to pick up some of those skills,” she said.
Board members also thanked Herndon for his patience, professionalism and hard work in showing them the trends in education.
“When I think of you, I basically think of someone who is a heck of a guy. I knew you were gonna be something for Bremerton,” BoE member Ken Watkins said. “I always appreciated your input. I hate to see you go, but I’m happy for you.”
Those who spoke also acknowledged the sacrifice Herndon made in commuting and spending time away from his family in Seattle. Although he spent much time away from his family, board member Scott Rahm said that Herndon recognized the importance of focusing his efforts on improving what was in front of him.
“You really earned your salary … we went through some tough times,” said Rahm. “We’re all here to serve our district and our children. You never let us forget that through your actions.”
Bremerton BoE President Carolynn Perkins came into her position a few weeks before Herndon came into his in the district. She said she watched as he gracefully and seamlessly transitioned into the school district.
“I just watched as you quickly stepped in and really focused yourself and Bremerton to go to the next level,” she said. “I’ve very proud of what has been achieved under your leadership.”
During his four years in Bremerton, Herndon oversaw several major projects, including the transition of West Hills into the STEM Academy; an addition of a Montessori program, and Spanish Immersion for Mountain View students. Additionally, during his term, the high school graduation rate was at a peak.
Perkins also said Herndon’s Friday memos were “great” and that the entire time he was in office was a time of education for the board members.
“You’ve really educated us from the ground up,” she said. “You understand what it takes.”
The board also presented him with a glass plaque for his work during his time as superintendent.