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New human-resources director has 21 years of experience in schools | South Kitsap School District

Lynn Stellick came out of retirement to become South Kitsap School District’s interim assistant superintendent. - Photo by Chris Chancellor, Port Orchard Independent
Lynn Stellick came out of retirement to become South Kitsap School District’s interim assistant superintendent.
— image credit: Photo by Chris Chancellor, Port Orchard Independent

Just call it the Kent Connection.

When Lynn Stellick heard the South Kitsap School District needed an interim assistant superintendent for human resources, she immediately thought about superintendent Beverly Cheney.

Cheney has not worked in the Kent School District for about 15 years, but her work there as a principal influenced Stellick.

“I love that woman,” Stellick said. “I think she is marvelous. I was always impressed with her knowledge and warmth toward people.”

Stellick, 66, retired in 2011 from KSD and moved with her husband outside of Austin, Texas.

“When we talked about retirement, we wanted something sunny and warmer,” said Stellick, who planned to work as a consultant in human resources. “It was a very quick decision. We decided we could do both of our jobs from wherever.”

Perhaps just as quickly, Stellick said she decided to pursue the opening in SKSD, which was created when Greg Roberts left Oct. 5 to accept a similar position with the Seattle Fire Department.

In addition to Cheney, Stellick said she knew Roberts and former SKSD human resources director Lori McStay from professional development conferences.

“Throughout my career, I always heard good things about South Kitsap,” she said.

Stellick, who started in the district Oct. 8, had that reaffirmed when she began visiting schools in the district.

“South Kitsap School District is everything people said it was,” she said. “People are so welcoming. You come into a building and feel the warmth. From day one, I felt like a part of this.”

Stellick’s career began at Cargill, the United States’ largest privately held company based in Minnetonka, Minn., as a lab technician. Some of Cargill’s major businesses involve distributing and purchasing grain and other agricultural commodities. Stellick said she became the liaison between research and the main office.

A career was born

Stellick left college initially because, “I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” She returned to earn her bachelor’s in human resources and business from Metropolitan State University. Stellick later completed her master’s in management from Cardinal Stritch in Edina, Minn.

Seeking a reprieve from the harsh Midwest winters, Stellick and her husband relocated to the Northwest. She worked for 21 years in the Kent and Puyallup school districts.

Coming into the position during the school year is not a concern for Stellick.

“I don’t think it matters what time you start,” she said. “There’s always things going on. No time during the school year is quiet.”

One challenge involves new assessments for teachers, which must be fully implemented by the 2015-16 school year. The former model essentially was akin to the “pass” or “fail” mark that a teacher’s assistant would receive. Instructors now are assessed in several areas as “unsatisfactory,” “basic,” “proficient,” or “distinguished.”

Stellick, who is under contract through the end of the school year, is working to get caught up in the changes that have occurred since she retired from Kent. But with her husband and two dogs remaining in Texas, Stellick has not committed to whether she will apply for the position beyond this school year.

“Who knows what may happen?” she said. “Beyond [this year], I am not sure.”

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