Board selects next leader for L.S. schools
After careful deliberation, the Lake Stevens school board unanimously approved a one-year Superintendent Transition Plan that will place current Assistant Superintendent, Mrs. Amy Beth Cook, as the district’s next leader effective August of 2011.
“This board considers instructional leadership to be the most crucial function of the superintendency. In addition, an effective superintendent must also be a sound fiscal manager, an excellent communicator, lead with authority and compassion, truly believe in the extraordinary strength and value of our talented faculty and staff, and be invested in our local community, all while maintaining a continuous focus on what is right and best for kids,” School Board President Mari Taylor stated. “We believe Amy Beth Cook exemplifies each of these qualities. She has continuously shown a willingness to take on and excel in new responsibilities and is a proven instructional leader, which makes her the ideal candidate for superintendent.”
Cook has served the district in a wide variety of capacities for the past 28 years.
She began her work at Lake Stevens as a Speech Language Pathologist/Special Education Teacher in 1982 and subsequently taught kindergarten.
In 1988 she became the Assistant Principal at Mt. Pilchuck and a year later, Principal where she served in that capacity for eight years.
The following year she took over the principalship of Skyline Elementary where she remained for eight years guiding the school to reach some of the highest state test scores in the district and county.
For the past five years Cook has served as Executive Director and currently Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources; a position that includes hiring and induction of all staff, contract negotiations, investigation of employee misconduct, district hearing officer, grievance hearing officer, and a myriad of other responsibilities.
“I believe that our school board made a very wise decision, Amy Beth is highly qualified and will be exceptional in her new role as superintendent,” Superintendent David Burgess said.
Cook received her Bachelor’s degree with a Major in Speech Pathology and a Minor in Elementary Education from Western Washington University, her Master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Washington, her K-12 Principals Certificate from Western Washington University Administration Program, and is currently enrolled in the Walden University Doctoral Program and expects to graduate this fall.
“I am honored to be able to continue my commitment to the Lake Stevens School District in this new role. Our district has an exceptional staff, a dedicated school board and an incredibly supportive community—a winning combination for the successful education of our students,” Cook said. “I look forward to continuing to be a part of such a successful educational community.”
School districts across the state and nation have used a one or two year transition model, which provides for direct mentorship for the incoming superintendent and a smooth change of leadership for the district.
Key areas of the transition plan include planning for school board governance and meetings, management of district and long-range planning, election planning, relationship building, budget development, and school improvement goals and planning.
The district’s current superintendent, Dr. David Burgess, will be retiring effective August 1, 2011.
“Under the leadership of Dr. Burgess this district has dramatically increased test scores, improved facilities, and added meaningful classes and curriculum for our students. The coming year will allow the opportunity for a smooth transition to continue the great work that is already occurring in our district and for continuous improvement of teaching and learning into the future,” Taylor said.