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Flones to step down after 2018-2019 school year

Bailey White and Xavier Martinez

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Superintendent Brian Flones

   Superintendent Brian Flones announced his resignation at the school board meeting last Tuesday, May 22. After 19 years working as the Wenatchee School District Superintendent, Flones asked to be released from his contract one year early and will be leaving on August 31, 2019, at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

   “I’ve enjoyed my time in Wenatchee; it’s been an honor to be the Superintendent. A lot of great things have happened, and it’s been a great career. I’m just very happy that I’m able to go out when I want to go out,” Fones said.
   After the meeting, he was evaluated by the school board in an executive session.

   Flones cited the stress of his job, as well as his age, as the primary reasons for his resignation, which he had been considering for upwards of two years.

   “It’s a demanding job. It takes a lot of time away from family with [the] evening meetings and stress,” he said.

   Flones considers the modernization of many of the District’s facilities and construction of WestSide High School, as well as the closing of opportunity gap for all students, especially those of Latino descent, as some of the highlights of his career.

   “I’m really proud that we’re giving kids the skills and opening up doors for them to go on and have a career,” Flones said.
   Kris Cameron, Wenatchee Education Association President, was surprised by Flones’s decision. It was not something Cameron had foreseen, even while working closely with him as WenEA president. Cameron expressed admiration for his selflessness amid tension surrounding schedule, school board and budget changes throughout his time as Superintendent.

       “[Flones] always rises above. When other people are doing petty in-fighting, he always rises above that, keeps his eyes on what’s good for everyone and subjugates his personal needs to be the best for the good of the order,” she said.

   The selection process for a new superintendent will begin sometime in the fall of 2018, according to school board member Walter Newman. It will consist of regional searches, as well as possibly hiring an independent consultant to seek out candidates nationally. However, the specific selection process has not been determined yet, according to Newman.

   In his final year as Superintendent, Flones hopes to continue advocating for a Wenatchee High School modernization bond, especially in light of April’s bond failure, as well as emphasizing social and emotional health within the District.

   “Behavioral and mental health issues with students have really become a big topic of conversation and a really big need. We’re really trying to find some ways that we can build in those services,” Flones said.

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