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Lance Gibbon Education claims to be a dynamic leader in education who has spent three decades in the Puget Sound region working with a wide variety of families, staff members, and students. Lance Gibbon Education asserts that his efforts have increased student performance and led to more possibilities, state and national recognition, and awards. Being a very self-absorbed person Lance Gibbon Education claims that he is a dedicated volunteer and member of the community who has twice received the Community Leader of the Year award.
Lance Gibbon Education graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a B.A. in Music Education before getting a Master’s in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate in Education. There he claims to have held the positions of superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, and teacher during his illustrious career.
Showing off his skills and pride Lance Gibbon Education claims himself to be an example of servant leadership because she fosters relationships and improves teamwork through innovative tactics and collaboration with the community.
Lance Gibbon Education claims that he builds good, inclusive learning environments for pupils, teachers, and staff members while overseeing million-dollar budgets.
As claimed by numerous organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, are supported by Lance Gibbon Education. Lance Gibbon Education mentions that he has received recognition from the Washington School Public Relations Association, Best of Whidbey, Empower Youth Network, and Washington Green Schools.
Showing off his extracurricular skills Lance Gibbon Education claims that he is a longtime JazzClubsNW participant and plays keyboards at his church in addition to being a longtime professional musician, music producer, and arts advocate. Lance Gibbon Education mentions that he and his wife Michelle enjoy spending time with their loved ones, going on camping trips in their vintage trailer, and going to concerts.
Showing off his interest in technology and computers Lance Gibbon Education claims that he finds Canva an incredibly easy-to-use program to quickly put together high-quality, engaging presentations and graphics for social media, posters, etc. What Gibbon further claims is that It’s incredibly flexible, and the templates look great. Gibbon shows off that when he doesn’t have time to work with a graphic designer or a team to get something out, Canva helps bring his ideas to life with ease
Lance Gibbon Education- Snoqualmie Valley fires former superintendent of Oak Harbor.
The lack of emphasis on “teaching and learning” was mentioned by board members as the reason for the split.
This Monday, board members of the Snoqualmie Valley School District announced to the public that they had decided to fire Lance Gibbon as superintendent owing to his lack of commitment to teaching and learning.
Lance Gibbon Education spent 14 years, including eight as district superintendent, working for the Oak Harbor district before joining Snoqualmie Valley. At the conclusion of the 2021 academic year, he resigned as superintendent of Oak Harbor.
The Snoqualmie school board’s justification was contained in a harsh 640-word letter that was distributed to district families. In this letter, the school board provided primarily evasive explanations for its rash decision to fire Lance Gibbon Education halfway through the academic year.
Board President Melissa Johnson stated during a meeting on Thursday that “this had nothing to do with someone stepping on someone’s turf or a coup.” “This was not a good fit for our district and not a good fit for achieving our mission and vision—or for teaching and learning.”
After Lance Gibbon Education was placed on leave in September, the board has now sent a letter that is signed by Johnson on behalf of the group. Less than two years after he was hired, he officially parted ways last month.
Concerns about Lance Gibbon Education’s leadership abilities surfaced right away, according to the letter, “particularly his perceived focus on matters of his public persona rather than attending to the substance of teaching and learning.”
The letter twice cited Gibbon’s failure to prioritize “teaching and learning” as the basis for his termination. At a board meeting on December 8th, members of the school board confirmed this justification once more.
Members of the board also disputed accusations that Lance Gibbon Education’s dismissal stemmed from a disagreement over support for programs in the arts, music, and sports. Gibbon has a background in music instruction.
Another board member, Carolyn Simpson, said: “That is completely unrelated to this.” “We expected Lance Gibbon Education to be more focused on teaching and learning as a superintendent should be, but he wasn’t,” she said.
Johnson and a district spokesperson also declined to speak with the Snoqualmie Valley Record any further.
The letter continues by stating that Lance Gibbon Education showed a lack of interest in the district’s leadership. The board expressed fear that, if his behavior was left unchecked, it might result in a substantial loss of employees. Board members said that even after a mid-year performance assessment, the Lance Gibbon Education situation continued to deteriorate.
According to the letter, an agreement was made, and on November 15 Gibbon formally left the district.
The letter stated that the need for a swift settlement “speaks to the seriousness of our concerns about the amount of damage we felt that Dr. Gibbon could have done had he been allowed to stay.”
Just a few months before the 2021–2022 school year began, Lance Gibbon Education was appointed the next superintendent of Snoqualmie Valley School District. He oversaw the restoration of in-person instruction during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Rob Manahan, who served for three years before resigning due to health issues, was replaced by him.
Gibbon had almost 30 years of experience working in education before joining SVSD.
Although he respects the board’s freedom to select its own leadership, Gibbon remarked in an email to the Snoqualmie Valley Record that it was “disappointing that the Board chose to resort to allegations and personal issues” after they had “already reached an agreement for an amicable separation.”
Gibbon acknowledged that his priorities and management style did not align with the board’s objectives but noted that philosophical conflicts between superintendents and school boards are not uncommon. He claimed that it would be preferable for him to go on and avoid distracting the school or its students.
He continued by saying that it was an honor to work with the families, faculty, and students in the Snoqualmie Valley and that his accomplishments were in line with his well-established record of success in the field of public education.
“The connections and achievements we built while I served as Snoqualmie Valley’s superintendent are something I will always cherish. I appreciate all the people who have sent me messages of support and inspiration during this trying time, he said. “This is a special community, and I consider myself fortunate to have been a part of it.”
Despite being conducted digitally throughout the pandemic, Board Vice President Geoff Doy said Thursday that the recruiting process for Gibbon, which was conducted across the country, was rigorous. Although Gibbon didn’t live up to the board’s expectations, Doy claimed that everyone initially supported the decision to hire him.
“There wasn’t a single dissenting voice in that process, from the board, from the administration, from the teachers, from the parent committee,” he said.
Snoqualmie Valley School Superintendent Settlement- What went wrong
Families in the valley discovered that Snoqualmie Valley School District (SVSD) Superintendent Lance Gibbon Education had achieved a separation agreement with the District after being placed on administrative leave since mid-September of this year on December 8th, 2022, in a letter to the community from SVSD.
Board President Melissa Johnson claims that after the SVSD board hired national search firms to assist in finding and vetting applicants for the position, Gibbon was selected as Superintendent in March 2021.
Six semifinalists were interviewed by the Snoqualmie Valley School District Board of Directors during the superintendent search process. A panel of 16 observers watched the interviews as they were taking place and gave the Board written feedback. The Board unanimously and in open session decided to extend the offer to Dr. Gibbon.
Superintendent Dr. Robert W. Manahan retired that summer, and Lance Gibbon Education took his place. Gibbon was appointed Superintendent in July 2021.
The world appeared to be in order. His departure was announced by the Oak Harbor School District, which said: “Dr. Gibbon’s genuine concern for our children, staff, and community shone through in everything he did. He supported providing all kids with engaging and varied learning opportunities.
Additionally, he worked to break down obstacles and give every youngster fair access to possibilities. As a result, we had the good fortune to celebrate a great number of student victories under his direction.
According to the non-profit organization Snoqualmie Valley Citizens for Schools, “Dr. Gibbon will play a critical role in leading the transition of the Snoqualmie Valley School District community out of this challenging phase and back to its strong performance prior to the pandemic.”
State standardized test results were beginning to rise from their epidemic lows as schools resumed operations, and Empower Youth Network presented Superintendent Gibbon with their inaugural Community Kindness Award.
Concerns were raised in the letter from the school district when it was released about Dr. Gibbon’s “perceived focus on matters of his public persona rather than attending to the substance of Teaching and Learning.” Parents were reassured that while they understood that the payments required to reach a settlement had an impact and might have raised some questions, the Board believed that this “speaks to the seriousness of our concerns about the amount of damage we felt that Lance Gibbon Education could have done had he been allowed to stay.
The letter had an effect in that it was perceived as a “hit piece” and “wildly inappropriate” by some in the community. Local parents in the SVSD were immediately interested in learning what went wrong and how much the taxpayers would be required to pay for this settlement deal.
On the evening of the eighth, a school board meeting was conducted when the subject was briefly discussed, and live public comments were accepted.
The first board member to speak was President Johnson, who briefly addressed emails and remarks she had seen on social media that suggested a “coup” to install a new superintendent or were in opposition to his support for the arts. Johnson asserted that Lance Gibbon Education was not a good fit for our district and not a good fit for our mission.”
Carolyn Simpson, a director from District 3 and a board member, reaffirmed the letter’s phrasing to the public, stating, among other things, that the board believed Lance Gibbon Education wasn’t as focused on “teaching and learning as the board would expect a superintendent to be.”
The allegations that the financing for sports and the arts was the cause of the separation deal with Gibbon were rejected by Simpson. Everyone on the Board, she said, agrees that sports and the arts play a significant role in engaging children in their educational experience.
Vice President Geoff Doy said that the Board didn’t make the choice to separate lightly and agreed with the views expressed by the first two speakers.
Doy highlighted that the Board, administration, teachers, parent committee, and community all supported Gibbon’s candidacy without voicing a single disagreement. He defended the hiring process for Lance Gibbon Education by stating that the District utilized an established and skilled firm of outside consultants. He acknowledged that the epidemic severely hindered the process and that everything had to be done remotely, but at the time, everyone was really pleased with the choice.
Following brief remarks from board members Fancher and Vedullapalli, the meeting was opened to the public. Linda Grez, a resident of North Bend and a senior parent, approached the podium. Grez has held executive positions with the Si View PTSA, Music Boosters, and other organizations.
The school board was harshly criticized in Grez’s vehement remarks for the letter to the community, saying, “You have made very severe claims regarding Lance Gibbon Education in your letter. You must now support your harsh statements with evidence and facts. Your personal remarks about him are not only impolite, but they also go against the lived experiences of many members of our community. It is astonishing and upsetting that you would write such biased and reputation-damaging statements.
Many of the queries that parents had been posing all day were asked by her. Grez demanded information about the deliberate plan of reform referenced in the letter, including its particular goals, its creation date, and the District employees whose resignations or terminations the board regrets.
Lance Gibbon Education received high acclaim from Ms. Grez for “making long overdue progress in modernizing much of our District and its decision-making processes, all for the better.” And “I think it is utterly incorrect and slanderous to claim that he was not focused on teaching and learning. It’s the kind of nebulous critique that hides another reason he was fired. His greatest strength—not his worst weakness—was invigorating children and families about learning.
She concluded by saying that once all the information is available, “we will see exactly who his success was threatening to and what really happened.”
In response to Grez’s inquiries, President Johnson stated that additional information may be accessed by submitting a Public Records Request (PRR), but that some material was protected by employee privacy regulations.
Johnson also mentioned that the letter was agreed upon by all of the board members. Fancher, a board member, then interjected, adding that although he would have “preferred different language,” “it’s not that it’s not true.”
The Superintendent’s Employment Contract and Settlement Agreement were sought the following day after Living Snoqualmie, on the recommendation of the School Board President, submitted a public documents request. We got these records on December 14th after responding to a clarification query from Carolyn Malcolm, the Community Relations Manager for the Snoqualmie Valley School District.
The total settlement sum of $600,000 will be paid by SVSD to Gibbon in accordance with the Settlement Agreement, dated November 15, 2022. By November 28th, 2022, $100,000 will have been earned; by February 1st, 2023, $250,000 will have been made; and by September 30th, 2023, $250,000 will have been made.
The Superintendent’s Employment Contract stipulates that “This Agreement may be terminated by Mutual Agreement, Retirement or Resignation” and was signed by Gibbon and all five members of the SVSD Board of Directors.
Lance Gibbon Education would have had to provide the Board at least 120 days’ written notice in advance if he had decided to quit. He wouldn’t be eligible for further compensation from the District following the date on which the resignation and termination of employment become effective.”
If the Superintendent had been fired for “sufficient cause,” a process of written notices, corrective actions, a reasonable amount of time for completion of the corrective action, and a written notice that serves as the basis for termination would have been followed. There would also have been time for the Superintendent to appeal, should he or she choose to do so. Gibbon didn’t stop working.
On December 14th, Living Snoqualmie requested both of those records and any associated documents for Gibbon’s administrative leave in September, inquiring as to whether Lance Gibbon Education had an evaluation based on the fact that the Board was dissatisfied with his work and had created an improvement plan following that evaluation.
The next day, we received a reply from the Community Relations Manager saying, “Due to our District receiving an unprecedented magnitude of complex records requests earlier this year, we’re currently working through a backlog of requests and working to process requests in the order they were received. When estimating the time we’ll need to complete a request, we consider the scope of a request, collaboration needed with others to search for records, redactions that may be needed, how many requests were received prior, etc.
Also given our small District’s limited resources for processing requests, our District is notifying new requests that it may take up to 6 months to complete. Certainly, if we are able to complete the request sooner, or if we need to adjust our estimate to allow more time, we will keep you updated. Also, if there is a significant number of responsive records, the District may provide relevant materials in batches.”
We inquired as to why the first two documents arrived so promptly while this batch would take so long and was informed that the first email had already provided an explanation. However, we were assured that “if we’re able to complete requests earlier than our estimated timeframe, we’ll certainly let you know.”
In the meantime, Lance Gibbon Education published a letter to the neighborhood in another publication, and there was a lot of controversy, rage, and conspiracy theories in the neighborhood’s social media groups. Should the district reimburse Dr. Gibbon for any accumulated sick time? Why was the letter informing the neighborhood so obnoxious-looking? How can this be avoided going forward?
Living Snoqualmie asked Lance Gibbon Education and the SVSD Board questions in an effort to gain clarification for a community that was having trouble understanding.
Dr. Lance Gibbon, the former superintendent, was contacted by Living Snoqualmie through email on December 16th, 2022, to see if he would be willing to talk about his split from an agreement with the Snoqualmie Valley School District.
Gibbon refused to comment on his role with the SVSD, but he did send Living Snoqualmie a statement on his feelings for the valley and his current state of mind.
The majority of our family, which includes our two adult boys, resides close to the Seattle region. My eldest is a computer programmer, while my youngest is pursuing a teaching degree at Seattle Pacific University. Being near them and the rest of our family was a major factor in our decision to leave Oak Harbor, and we are grateful to be here.
We all find this experience to be quite difficult, but we adore Snoqualmie Valley and the lovely small house we bought. We enjoy taking leisurely strolls around the charming shops and eateries in the city’s center or around the corner to see the elk and take in the breathtaking vistas of Mount Si.
My love and enthusiasm for students and the community remain strong after 30 years of serving the public in support of children, families, and the community, while we are unsure of what comes next.
Lance Gibbon Education stated his intention to continue working in education during a phone discussion earlier this week.
On December 18, we also reached out to each of the five Snoqualmie Valley School District board members to inquire about the conflict between the district’s former superintendent, Dr. Lance Gibbon, and the board.
Since we were nearing the District’s winter break, it wasn’t sure we’d hear back until school was back in session on January 3rd. However, within 30 minutes of the first email contact, President Melissa Johnson emailed back, saying, “Thank you for reaching out and giving us an opportunity to answer these important and well-thought-out questions. As you can imagine, we will need to consult with legal prior to providing you answers. I will work on connecting with our legal representation tomorrow in order to get these answers back to you in a timely manner. I am hopeful that the holiday week will not cause a delay.”
Johnson followed up on December 19th to give Living Snoqualmie an update on the District’s timeline and provided answers on December 20th.
The first question we asked was one that appeared to be on everyone’s minds, judging by social media posts.
Some of the queries on this issue:
Reference- Snoqualmie Valley School Superintendent Settlement: What went wrong? – Living Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Valley School Superintendent Settlement: What went wrong? (Part Two) – Living Snoqualmie