Superintendent Matt Handelman of the Coeur d'Alene School District circulated this message internally moments ago:
I would like to thank the Coeur d’Alene School District and the community for the opportunity to serve our students, families and staff for the past seven years, the last four as your Superintendent. I am announcing that I will be stepping down effective at the end of this month.
I have accepted a position with Evergreen Public Schools in Washington State as its Chief Academic Accountability Officer, and will be taking some time for family, moving and getting situated for that job, as I did in Coeur d’Alene in 2010. The School Board has asked and I have agreed to remain in a consulting role through the end of June to assist with the transition as a new leader is selected to take our great district to the next level.
I am proud of the many accomplishments of the Coeur d’Alene School District during my tenure, including most recently passing the largest construction bond in our history, for the first time running and passing a bond and Maintenance & Operations Levy concurrently, planning for flat tax rates now and into the future – all with near-record support from the community.
In addition, our district is on a great trajectory. After overseeing the ushering in of the State-adopted Common Core (Idaho) State Standards and associated new Smarter Balanced ISAT test, we continue to be one of the highest performing large school districts not only in Idaho, but in the region. Through community support, we have re-aligned our district with the state’s curriculum adoption cycle, putting new and up-to-date materials into students’ and teachers’ hands in order to enhance learning.
We have also renewed a commitment to lowering class sizes and providing safe and supportive learning environments – both physically and emotionally – for our students, through enhanced security measures and our Stand Up, Speak Up anti-bully/kindness campaign. Our teachers and staffs have become risk-takers to provide incredible learning environments for our students, from outdoor learning experiences and a STEM-focused elementary academy, to flexible and student-centered learning environments which enhance learning for our students. We have provided the first balanced budget since the Great Recession, and have made other advancements to ensure we have the best, most qualified employees in the region.
I have to say that when I first arrived in Coeur d’Alene, I was awed by how our teachers and support staff provided such amazing learning opportunities on what I called a “shoestring” budget compared to the district from where I had come. I continue to be amazed by the incredible quality of our employees in every corner of our growing district, in every department and in every school of Coeur d'Alene Public Schools.
I wish my colleagues here in the District well and I thank each of you for your hard work and devotion to public education. I urge the citizens of our district to continue to support our schools so that our students will have a great K-12 education and a bright and successful future. Thank you again for the opportunity and the honor to serve you.
Remember always to Work Hard and Be Nice!
Sincerely and with great respect and appreciation,