Harbor School looking for a new head of school

Mark McGough, who joined the staff in 2016, has stepped down.

Mark McGough (Courtesy Photo).

Mark McGough (Courtesy Photo).

The Harbor School, Vashon’s only private school for kindergarten through eighth-graders, is in the midst of a search for a new head of school.

The new official would replace Mark McGough, who joined the staff in 2016. Lisa Pearson, chair of the school’s board of trustees, had high praise for McGough, saying the board would be sorry to see him go.

“He has been a tremendous addition to our school,” said Pearson, citing McGough’s dedication to the mission of the school and his development of the faculty team.

Reached by phone, McGough said that he had no immediate plans following his departure, which will be effective at the end of the school year.

“I’ve been in education for 33 years and I’m reflecting on what comes next,” he said.

In terms of his accomplishments at the school, McGough said he was particularly proud of helping to stabilize it after a transition in leadership and working to increase enrollment from 78 to 92 students.

Pearson said the school’s nine-member board is currently conducting a national search to replace McGough, with applications being accepted through Nov. 1. The board will meet and interview candidates after that, with a plan to narrow the field to three candidates in January. The board’s hiring decision will be announced later that month or early February, she said, with a start date of July 1 for their pick.

Another recent change in the school’s staff came in April, when Allison Halsted Reid left the school’s staff to become associate artistic director of Vashon Center for the Arts. At the Harbor School, Halstead Reid worked as director of advancement, a job that included marketing, communications, donor stewardship and the production of special events for the school. She became acting executive director of VCA in August, after the resignation of then-VCA director Kevin Hoffberg.

According to Pearson, the school has not replaced Halstead Reid, but rather, is handling development work within its current staffing configuration. She said the board will consider what mix of staff will best support the school.

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