Mike Villarreal, former assistant superintendent in the Othello School District, will be the new superintendent of the Hoquiam School District. The School Board voted Friday night to offer him the job and he has accepted.
“All the candidates were great,” said board president Chris Eide. “Mike’s management style really matches what we’re looking for here in Hoquiam.”
Villarreal replaces Mike Parker, who announced his retirement earlier in the school year.
A lifelong resident of the Othello area, Villarreal explained why the Grays Harbor area was an attractive fit for him – he was also one of four finalists for the Aberdeen superintendent job just a week ago.
“I was impressed by the strong sense of community and the opportunity to work in a district that values collaboration and looks to provide support for all students,” he said. “Throughout my career I have worked in districts of similar size, with similar demographics and challenges.”
Villarreal also pointed to nearby Grays Harbor College as providing an opportunity for public school/higher education partnerships.
“Such partnerships are something I have a lot of experience with through serving as a board trustee for Big Bend Community College,” he said. “I believe that positive, supportive relationships within the district and community are essential, and I feel that in Hoquiam my family will have the opportunity to be more actively involved in the community.”
Villarreal’s wife is also an educator, and he said there were many opportunities for her here as well. And there were other factors that went into his decision. “An additional plus is access to many outdoor recreation activities. My family loves fishing, camping and hunting. We are very excited to learn about the Grays Harbor area.”
Everyone who attended the meet and greet sessions with all four finalists for the job was asked to provide feedback on each candidate. Comments about Villarreal included “communication style and engaging personality;” “commitment to a lengthy tenure in the district;” “ability to establish strong relationships with area organizations and agencies;” “commitment and history of being an active member of the community;” and “commitment to being visible in the schools and community.”
Villarreal is currently Director of Federal and State Programs and is a past assistant superintendent for the Othello School District. Has held central office positions in Othello for 10 years; prior to that he was principal at the Warden school district. He was appointed trustee of the Big Bend Community College Board of Trustees by then-governor Christine Gregoire in 2012; that appointment goes through Sept. 30, 2017.
In his current position with the Othello School District, he oversees migrant and bilingual programs; assisted principals in creating school improvement plans that meet grant requirements; and supervised assigned personnel, conducted annual performance evaluations and made recommendations for appropriate employment action.
Villarreal earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Washington State University in 2011 and is a 1988 graduate of Othello High School. He received his superintendent credential in 2007. His education also includes a Master of School Administration from Heritage University in Toppenish in 1999, the same year he received his principal credential.