The superintendent of the Peninsula School District abruptly resigned May 30 to accept a position with the Snoqualmie Valley School District.
"After much deliberation, consultation with my wife and a hard look at what I want to accomplish in my personal and professional life, I decided to accept the offer," Rob Manahan wrote in his statement to the press and school district. "This district has been a bright spot in my career. I have learned so much about being a better superintendent, about being a better leader and about being a better person. You have all contributed to that. I am forever grateful."
The Snoqualmie Valley School District posted an announcement about hiring Manahan on its website. His start date is July 1. His last day at the Peninsula School District is June 21 and his last board meeting is on Thursday, June 14.
"From an impressive pool of applicants, Dr. Manahan emerged as the top choice to lead the district, starting July 1," the website states.
Manahan started with the Peninsula School District in 2016. The board of directors hired him after a lengthy, nationwide search that spanned much of the previous school year. Coming from the position of superintendent at the Lake Chelan School District, Manahan not only had experience in a similar role but also had previous experience in the Peninsula School District. His starting salary was $187,500.
Manahan said the recent failure of the district's proposed $220 million bond was not his reason for leaving.
"There are a lot of challenges in this district, and I'm not afraid of challenges," Manahan said. "I was recruited and invited to apply (to Snoqualmie). I thought that was very honorable and I should, at least, because of the opportunities Snoqualmie holds, apply. I was not expecting to get as far as I did, and I got the job."
Manahan said leaving the district is bittersweet because he has grandchildren in the area.
"I would have liked to stay here for the rest of my tenure," he said.
On May 31, Marcia Harris, president of the board of directors for Peninsula School District, issued a statement on the district's website congratulating Manahan on his new position.
"We still hold Rob in high regard, as we did last winter when we took a 5-0 vote of confidence in him and amended his contract," it said, referring to the board of directors' February vote to extend the superintendent's contract to June 2020. "While his are big shoes to fill, we are beginning the process of finding a new superintendent. Our commitment to you is to be transparent and keep you informed throughout the process."
In a statement on the district's website, the board of directors announced they are searching for an interim-superintendent for the 2018-19 school year.
"The Board regretfully accepted Superintendent Manahan's resignation and released him from the remaining two years of his contract," the statement read. "The Board made the decision to seek an interim-superintendent for the 2018-2019 school year allowing for a thoughtful and comprehensive search for the next (Peninsula School District) leader. The process and time line for hiring the interim superintendent are currently 'under construction.' We remain committed to sharing information as it becomes available."
In his statement, Manahan said he felt the district was in good shape.
"The work we started here in Peninsula will carry on without a doubt," Manahan wrote. "There is so much talent and passion here that is focused on kids it makes me extremely hopeful for the future of this district ... I am confident you will find another leader that will take this district to the next step, harness your passions and talents and bring to our students and staff the world-class education facilities and programs you all deserve.
"Take good care, and thank you for all you have taught me and given in my short time in the district."