Community News

The School Board has selected three finalists for Anacortes School Superintendent:  John Harrison, Pat Hegarty, and Dr. Justin Irish. 

The three finalists will each spend a day in the district this week, meeting with staff, students, and community members, followed by a final interview with board members in executive session. The board expects to announce the new superintendent in an open public meeting on Friday, February 28 at 8 a.m. in the District Office, 2200 M Avenue. 

The board interviewed seven candidates on Saturday, Feb. 22, and chose the top three based on leadership qualities, breadth of experience, and proven commitment to students. Approximately 30 community members attended the interviews throughout the day and provided written feedback. 

“We were impressed with all the candidates and choosing the finalists was a tough decision,” said board president Bobbilyn Hogge. “We feel that we have three very strong candidates and look forward to seeing how they interact with our staff, students and community this week.” 

Finalist Bios

John Harrison:  Harrison has held the position of Executive Director of Schools in the Bellevue School District since 2011. He served the Mercer Island School District for six years as a high school principal. He also has 16 years of administrative and teaching experience in British Columbia, Canada. Mr. Harrison’s Superintendent Certificate is from Western Washington University. Harrison will spend the day in Anacortes on Tuesday, February 25. 

Dr. Justin Irish:  Irish has held the position of Assistant Superintendent of Schools in the Edmonds School District since 2013. He served the Edmonds School District for six years as an elementary school principal. He also has five years of elementary school teaching experience in the Shoreline School District. His Doctorate in Education and Superintendent Certificate are from the University of Washington. Irish will spend the day in Anacortes on Wednesday, February 26. 

Pat Hegarty: Hegarty is the Executive Director of Secondary Education in the Mukilteo School District.  He has held that position since 2015. He served the Shoreline School District for fifteen years as a high school principal, vice-principal and elementary school principal. He also taught in the Shoreline School District for fifteen years at the high school level. Mr. Hegarty’s Superintendent Certificate is from Western Washington University. Hegarty will spend the day in Anacortes on Thursday, February 27.

The community is invited to attend public forums with each candidate on February 25, 26, and 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Anacortes High School Library, 1600 20th Street. Attendees will be asked to provide written feedback for the board to consider.

The superintendent oversees the day-to-day operations of the Anacortes School District, including management of its $40 million budget, approximately 400 employees, seven schools, and numerous programs and partnerships. The new superintendent will take over on July 1 from Dr. Mark Wenzel who has accepted a position directing an international school in Singapore after seven years leading Anacortes schools.