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Cole fills administrative vacancy at high school

South Kitsap School District's administrative shuffle has filtered down to the high school.

And Charla Cole views herself as the beneficiary.

Former South Kitsap High School principal Dave Colombini, who was the district's director for School & Family Support, became the assistant superintendent for instructional services. That role was vacant toward the end of the last school year after deputy superintendent Kurt Wagner died in April. SKHS assistant principal Frank Sullivan then assumed Colombini's former role, which he previously held.

Both Colombini and Sullivan have the option to return to their former roles at the end of the school year, or SKSD might seek an external candidate to fill the instructional services position. Cole said she is not concerned about what could happen after this school year, though.

"I'm looking at it as a yearlong interview," she said. "I'm aware it will open up [for interviews] at the end of the year."

Cole, who spent the last 10 years at SKHS as the dean of students, said she was excited to undertake a new challenge. She always taught physical education and traffic safety at the high school during the decade before she became a dean.

"It's keeping me on my toes," Cole said of her new role. "There's some bigger things I can work on."

That includes some of her former duties, such as students referrals and truancies, until Freda Evans transitions from athletic medicine to the role of dean. Perhaps the biggest change entails some administrative issues, such as addressing conflicts within the staff, and the school's move from a trimester to semester schedule next fall.

Former superintendent Dave LaRose, who left in July to accept a similar position in California's Culver City Unified School District, announced the move in June in an effort to "streamline" the district.

He said maintaining the current model at the high school would be difficult when the state requires students to take classes, such as health, for a semester. Based on a trimester system, LaRose said SKSD students might have to take two trimesters of that subject, which could inhibit their opportunity to take an elective.

He also cited students as the reason to wait another year before implementing a new schedule. LaRose said he wants his staff to study what model makes the most sense for SKSD, and look at other districts that recently have switched from a trimester to semester schedule.

"There's work to be done," LaRose said in June. "It's going to be complex. I think we'll be thoughtful about the student in the process."

Cole is excited for that process to begin.

"I'm looking forward to it," she said. "I'm just absorbing all of the information I can get my hands on."

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