VISD to hold meet-and-greet, panel for VHS principal candidates

The event is scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the Vashon High School Commons.

The Vashon Island School District (VISD) is inviting VHS families and members of the Vashon school community to a candidate “Meet and Greet” and panel interview for the open Vashon High School Principal position.

The event is scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the Vashon High School Commons.

Through the hiring process, the District has narrowed down the field to three candidates, who will each spend the entire day on campus, showcasing performance tasks and interviewing with VHS staff and students.

The candidates are:

John Erickson is the current Interim Principal at Vashon High School, having joined VISD at the start of the 2021-22 school year as the VHS assistant principal. Prior to arriving at VISD, Mr. Erickson worked for nine years in the Highline School District as an elementary school principal and middle school assistant principal.

In his cover letter, Mr. Erickson wrote, “I’m more motivated and enthusiastic than ever at the prospect of the path forward: leveraging the institutional knowledge I’ve gained coupled with the relationships I’ve built to lead Vashon High School onto new distinctions and achievements in service of the Vashon Promise. It’s my goal to realize Vashon Island School District’s Strategic Plan while leading and developing a high-functioning team to support our high school community.”

Aaron Smith has 18 years of administrative experience, most recently serving as a principal within the Camas School District for the past 14 years, at Skyridge Middle School, Odyssey Middle School, and Discovery High School.

In his hiring application, Mr. Smith wrote, “Over the years, I have learned that connecting learning standards to real-world problems – particularly if they are local – dramatically increases relevance and engagement. In addition to deepening understanding of content standards, a well-designed project helps students see themselves as entrepreneurs, problem-solvers, innovators, collaborators, and contributors. These are essential skills for today’s world. My PBL (project-based learning) training and experiences would allow me to work with VHS staff, students, and parents to support the Vashon Island School District’s commitment to providing a rigorous, friendly, and uniquely place-based education.”

Dr. Jeff Willamson’s 30-year career in education has touched many levels, from teacher to Superintendent. He currently works as the Principal at a middle/high School in the Clatskanie School District, in Clastskanie, Oregon. His career has taken him from the urban environment of the Toledo Public Schools to work with the federal government with the Bureau of Indian Education.

In his cover letter, he wrote, “I am a results-driven visionary leader. I have a sense of urgency in everything I do because all students deserve innovation and excellence now. I have a proven record of success in leading others to achieve excellence and believe in empowering others while casting a clear vision with an intense and strategic focus on academic achievement. I believe in the power of teamwork, collaboration and partnerships which can only be developed through intentional and consistent communication.”

The principal position at VHS became open after the mid-year resignation of former principal Danny Rock, who served in the position since 2013. Rock left the district in December to pursue a different career in the private sector, working in the technology field of software product management.