Aberdeen, WA – Dr. Jeffrey D. Thake of Illinois, has been selected as the next superintendent for the Aberdeen School District.
The Aberdeen School District tells KXRO that the School Board voted unanimously during a special meeting on March 11.
Thake will succeed Dr. Alicia Henderson who is retiring June 30 after five years serving the District.
“The board is grateful to all who applied,” President Jennifer Durney said. “We were very happy about the depth and scope of the applicant pool, the selection process, and the participation we had from stakeholders.”
“We still have a lot of work to do in partnership with Dr. Henderson to complete our current school year,” President Durney added. “Her work and service in our District is appreciated. We are looking forward to a strong finish and a smooth transition.”
After being selected as a finalist, Dr. Thake spent all day in the District on Thursday in various meetings that included district administrators and principals, teachers, union leadership, students, members of the community and ending with an interview with the School Board. Board members were able to observe much of the process, which ended with an interview that evening.
Dr. Thake most recently was superintendent of the Williston Basin School District #7 in North Dakota, where the Williston #1 and Williams #8 school districts recently combined into one school district.
Other positions have included superintendent of the Amboy School District in Illinois, high school principal in Amboy and high school associate principal for Sterling Public Schools, also in Illinois.
Dr. Thake earned his bachelor of music degree in music education from Southern Illinois University, and his master of arts degree and doctorate in education from Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.
“This was a big decision for us,” Director Jessica Jurasin said during discussion before the final vote. “We are excited to bring such a highly qualified candidate to our district. During the different meetings, he consistently talked about putting students first. He believes in fostering schools where every student has a place where they feel they belong. He talked about being innovative, inviting and going on a journey, and he is eager to embrace our community.”
Director Suzy Ritter agreed, adding, “I felt there was a genuineness about what he hopes to accomplish by coming here, that he feels he found a real fit here and he will be able to energize people about all the possibilities. I also really appreciated the process.”