Former Hazelwood educator named interim superintendent

January 2, 2013

By Staff

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Vera Risdon, Renton School District’s assistant superintendent, will serve as interim superintendent when Mary Alice Heuschel transitions to her new position as Gov.-elect Jay Inslee’s chief of staff in January.

Risdon will serve during the expected months-long search for a new superintendent.

Vera Risdon

The Renton School Board voted unanimously to name Risdon, an educator in Renton for 46 years, to the post.

Risdon began her career with the district as a teacher at Hazelwood Elementary School and went on to teach at five different Renton schools from 1966 to 1982, including McKnight Middle School.

She served as a principal at Hazelwood Elementary School from 1986 to 1992. She has also served as assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and technology, and as associate superintendent for elementary education.

“The Renton School District has been a very important part of my life for nearly a half-century,” Risdon said in a statement. “It’s truly an honor and a privilege to serve Renton students, staff and community in this capacity as we begin the work to identify a dynamic new leader to build on the district’s good work.”

Risdon is not a candidate for the superintendent position. The school board has already begun the process for a nationwide search for a new superintendent. The process will include staff and community input as well as community meetings to meet candidates.

The school board hired Northwest Leadership Associates to conduct the search for a new superintendent. In the past decade, the firm conducted more than 190 superintendent searches for school districts in the Northwest.

The firm will conduct background and reference checks, visit the communities of prospective candidates and ensure the candidate is a good fit for Renton. Later work will include presenting qualified candidates to the public at community meetings.

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