Hoquiam school superintendent announces retirement

Hoquiam school superintendent Mike Parker has announced that he will retire at the end of the school year.

Parker, 63, will have been superintendent for 11 years and delivered his resignation letter at Thursday’s School Board meeting.

“In retrospect, time here flew by and during these years so much has taken place,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

Among events he cited in his letter are closing a school, creating a new one, remodeling two other schools and “radically” improving the district’s finances.

“I think the district is in a good place, very healthy and headed in the right direction,” he said Monday. “I still have my health. It’s a good time to go.”

Parker anticipates potentially relocating, perhaps to Spokane where he and his family lived for a decade years ago. He came here with his family from Concrete, where he had been the superintendent. He has been in education for 41 years.

“We wish him well. All the best,” said Chris Eide, school board president.

Eide noted that the board would probably schedule a special meeting before the end of 2016 to begin the search for a new superintendent to lead the district, which educates about 1,600 students.

The school board regularly handles business during the third week of each month. With the superintendent’s resignation, it would be a good idea to meet sooner than almost a month from now to begin handling the matter, Eide said.

The task of finding a new superintendent will likely include choosing a search firm. Using focus groups of employees and community members to determine criteria for the position also might occur as part of the hiring process, Eide said.

“What will I do next?” Parker asked rhetorically in his letter of resignation. “There are so many options including traveling, consulting in some form or another and just being a husband, Grandpa and Dad.”