Shank not selected for Longview superintendent job

North Beach superintendent recently applied for the position

North Beach School District Superintendent Dr. Jim Shank was not selected to be the next leader of Longview schools, a position he applied for in the last few months.

Shank was one of three finalists to become superintendent of the Longview School District. The district announced Friday morning that its board of directors unanimously picked Dr. Karen Cloninger, assistant superintendent of a school district near Spokane, to fill the role.

“The board is now focused on negotiating the terms of Cloninger’s contract and completing a comprehensive employee background check,” the announcement said. “She is set to begin her transition into the district with a start date of July 1, 2024.”

Shank could not be reached for comment on Thursday or immediately following the announcement on Friday. He attended a community forum at a high school in Longview Thursday evening.

The Longview district announced Shank as a finalist Feb. 17, a few weeks after the application period closed Jan. 31. The district used the same consulting firm — Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates — that North Beach used one year ago to recruit Shank.

The North Beach School District Board of Directors picked Shank as superintendent on March 14, 2023, and sworn him in on June 20. Last April Shank signed a three-year contract with a $185,000 salary. The contract can be terminated through mutual agreement, resignation, disability or discharge for cause.

It also states that the school board will complete a superintendent evaluation by Jan. 31 of each contract year, although district staff and board members contacted could not confirm if the evaluation had been completed this year.

Shank was born in Longview and attended R.A. Long High School there. He graduated from Brigham Young University and got a doctoral degree at Idaho State University.

He has 15 years of superintendent experience and led the Idaho Falls and Coupeville School districts prior to North Beach.

Contact reporter Clayton Franke at 406-552-3917 or