LaRose’s time in SK School District


That was a reoccurring theme at Monday’s gathering of about 40 educators and community members that honored Dave LaRose, who is leaving this week to become superintendent of California’s Culver City Unified School District.

“You’ve meant a lot to this district,” said Burley-Glenwood Elementary School principal Derek Grant, who was an assistant principal at Orchard Heights Elementary in 2004 when LaRose was the principal there.

LaRose was presented with a plaque from the Port Orchard Police Department. School board member Chris Lemke, who served in the Navy, gave LaRose a coin with an American Flag he received while visiting the Pentagon a few months after Sept. 11, 2001.

“Dave LaRose is all about community,” Lemke said.

School board member Patty Henderson, who was the board’s president when LaRose was promoted from assistant superintendent in 2008, said she initially was skeptical when assistant superintendent for human resources Greg Roberts said Orchard Heights’ new principal in ‘04 was from Arizona.

“This guy was from Arizona?” Henderson said. “Why you?”

She said her opinion quickly shifted when she met LaRose.

“I’m so thankful he’s been our superintendent,” Henderson said. “He’s meant so much to the district, board and community.”

When LaRose was promoted from assistant superintendent in 2008, his oldest daughter, Lyndsi, was leaving for UCLA. School board president Kathryn Simpson said she knew LaRose’s tenure in the district would depend on whether his youngest daughter, Madison, elected to attend college in the Puget Sound region. Earlier this year, she chose Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

“He understands that no other success is as important as what happens in the home,” Simpson said.

LaRose agreed.

“I’m really, really nervous about this next step,” he said, “but I know we’re doing this for the right reason.”

LaRose also thanked the SKSD board and staff in his closing remarks.

“These have been eight incredible years,” he said. “It has been a great pleasure to work in this district.”


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