Superintendent brings experience, leadership to WHS

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL

Last week, the Washington School Board selected William Stone as the district?s new superintendent, who will bring many years of experience with him when he comes to Washington in July.

There were several things about Stone that stood out to the school board during the interview process.

?He has 13 years of experience and during those 13 years he?s had a variety of positive experiences,? school board president Eric Turner said. ?He understands how to financially manage a district during times where school funding is at a lower level, so he understands the process and what?s involved with that.?

Funding at a state level seems to be at a downward trend, so it?s nice to have a superintendent who can work through that, he added.

Stone has also been through different facility projects and has updated facilities.

?Which is another one of our goals,? Turner said. ?To develop a 10- year facility plan.?

Stone has worked on student and parent relationships in his current district, which is a key component to Turner.

?If you can have the parent and students engaged then they feel like they?re connected [and] have more opportunity and more learning, so we?re excited about the program he hopes to bring to Washington,? Turner said.

Stone also has experience with standard reference grading. Washington Middle School is working on switching to standard based grading, which is a little different from what Stone had in his previous district, but he?s been through that process on educating the community about the grading changes and can bring those experiences with him to Washington, he added.

One thing the board decided not to do next year was have Stone serve as a shared superintendent with WACO Community School District, even though Stone is working as a shared superintendent today.

?That was a hard decision,? Turner said. ?We had a lot of discussion with that just because there?s financial benefits to the district for that.?

The board came down to the conclusion that whoever they chose to hire, it wouldn?t be the best thing for them to work as a shared superintendent the first year they?re here.

?It?s just too much, I think,? Turner said. ?Getting to know one community, one school district, one group of staff ? that?s hard enough to ask somebody to do that.?

Turner said he felt Stone would do a good job as shared superintendent, but adjusting to the changes would be even harder because Stone will have to help his family through the transistion as well, he added.

?WACO?s been a really great partner,? Turner said. ?Mr. Dicks has done a really good job. He had a year, though, to work into trying to get to know Washington and then trying to make that transition. If the opportunity would be there again down the road we would look at that just because WACO has been so good to work with.?

The Washington Community School District will lose $120,000 from not continuing the shared superitendent agreement, which might affect other sharing agreements they have with WACO, but the board knew that was a risk they?d have to take, he said.

?But we also knew it was a risk to put the new superintendent in that position,? Turner added. ?We just want to make sure he gets off on a very positive first year.?

Stone will start his position in the Washington Community School District as superintendent on July 1.