The Anacortes School Board Friday morning chose Justin Irish as Anacortes' new school superintendent. Irish currently serves as the assistant superintendent for the Edmonds School District.
On July 1, Irish will take over the superintendent position from Dr. Mark Wenzel who has accepted a position directing an international school in Singapore after seven years leading Anacortes schools.
Dr. Irish was selected from a large pool of applicants for what the School Board called his demonstrated collaborative leadership qualities, his focus on equity and team building, and a commitment to student achievement.
“We were particularly impressed with Dr. Irish’s dedication to all students and his equity work,” said board president Bobbilyn Hogge. “Dr. Irish also has proven success with systems alignment, inclusive practices and cohesive leadership. We believe he will be an excellent fit for our schools and our community.”
The board also noted that Dr. Irish had excellent references from a range of colleagues including teachers, administrators, and union representatives.
During the interview process, Dr. Irish expressed a strong interest in Anacortes and its schools.
“I was attracted to this position based on the strength of the schools and the beauty of the community,” said Irish. “I look forward to working with the team to continue the positive work that has already been done.”
Irish will lead the day-to-day operations of the school district, its approximately 400 employees, and manage a $40 million budget.
Hogge also said she appreciated the broad community involvement and support in the superintendent search process.
“We knew the importance of this decision for our students, staff, parents, and community members and their input in the search process was invaluable,” said Hogge. “We are incredibly grateful for their insight, engagement, and time commitment.”
Three finalists visited the district this week, touring schools, meeting with staff, students, and community members and leading a public forum.