A commitment to leadership development for school and district leaders has been a priority for Puyallup School District superintendent Dr. Tim Yeomans since he joined the district in 2012.
Through out the last three years, Yeomans and staff in the district have worked diligently to make that happen. On Aug. 3, he was awarded the University Council for Educational Administration Education Excellence in Educational Leadership Award on behalf of the district’s efforts.
The University of Washington College of Education presented him with the award for his ongoing commitment to leadership development of aspiring school and district-level leaders. Yeomans was nominated by the college.
When Yeomans was working as superintendent in the Meridian School District in Whatcom County, he realized that in order to get quality administrators, the district would have start the recruiting process earlier, as larger schools were taking their pick of principals first.
“We really struggled to get principals,” the superintendent said. “It became very apparent that if we weren’t out looking for talented principals, most would come early in their career and only stay for a few years.”
Once Yeomans started the recruiting process earlier, he says Meridian saw great results.
When Yeomans came to Puyallup, he wanted to establish a principal prep program to continue the results that he saw in his prior district. When he approached both Western Washington University and Washington State University, WSU-Vancouver jumped on board with it during the 2012-2013 school year.
The program is now the largest principal prep program in the South Sound, Yeomans said.
With the program held in Puyallup, two to three nights a week for two years, it allows the district to, in a sense, interview principal candidates for two years while they are in the program.
“Last year, we hired all of them,” Yeomans said. “Everyone was hired by May 3.”
When the quality of administrators improves, Yeomans says it trickles down into better staff — and a higher student success rate.
“The whole goal is to make this district a hub for talented educators,” he said. “We set things up so people want to be part of the community.”