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The Stanwood-Camano School Board approved a contract with Northwest Leadership Associates to lead the search for a new superintendent after hearing virtual presentations on Feb. 18 from three companies.

The unanimous approval came during a special meeting Monday evening to consider this one item.

The board settled on the search firm after hourlong virtual presentations Thursday, Feb. 18, from three companies: Ray and Associates, McPherson & Jacobson and Northwest Leadership Associates.

The Seattle-based search firm, which gets a $17,800 contract, will get started immediately, kicking off a weekslong endeavour to replace retiring Superintendent Jean Shumate.

The process will include several community outreach components, including surveys and public forums, to help shape the search.

In other business

  • During the School Board’s Feb. 16 meeting, members accepted a $3,813 donation from the Utsalady Booster Club to pay for two water bottle filling stations at Utsalady Elementary.
  • The board also heard updates on the high school campus construction project, which is focused on demolition of the old building. The teardown should be complete by the end of March.
  • Don Vennetti, the district’s food service director, gave an update on meal distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 300,000 meals have been handed out to local students since March 2020.

Schools, sports resume

Starting this week, middle school students returned to classrooms under a hybrid plan. High school students are set to return March 8.

The plan brings secondary students back for in-person learning for just shy of two hours a day — from 7:40-9:25 a.m. for two periods. The hybrid schedule splits the students into two groups — A and B — that attend on Mondays and Tuesdays or on Thursdays and Fridays. 

The in-person classes will rotate each week. For example, the first week will be periods 1 and 2, the second week will be periods 3 and 4, and the third week will be periods 5 and 6. 

Also this week, Spartan athletes officially kicked off the season. Traditional fall sports — football, volleyball, girls soccer, boys tennis, girls swimming and cross country — started practicing.

Competitions begin next week. However, no fans will be allowed to attend games, according to the Wesco league's current rules.

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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