Steve Webb stepped down as superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools late Thursday after school board members approved an agreement that he begin his planned retirement from Vancouver Public Schools immediately.
The agreement, crafted by attorneys representing the board and Webb, came after an executive session lasting more than two hours Thursday. When the board reconvened, the vote was unanimous.
After executive session but before the vote, board President Kyle Sproul said the board engaged in negotiations earlier this week with Webb based on a mutual desire to move up his retirement date. His superintendent contract was set to expire June 30.
“The board’s counsel has reached an agreement with Dr. Webb’s counsel in terms of his early retirement,” Sproul said.
Details of the agreement have not been disclosed, nor has an explanation as to why Webb was placed on leave this week. Board directors did not comment following their 4-0 vote Thursday on a resolution approving the agreement between the board and Webb.
Sproul later released a statement through the district saying, “The board is grateful for Dr. Webb’s long service to the district on behalf of children and families. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Webb, VPS’ superintendent since 2008, was placed on administrative leave by the board Tuesday. In August, he announced his retirement effective July 1, 2022.
According to a superintendent successor search timeline first published by the district, Webb planned to stay on board in 2021-22 as an “executive coach and mentor” to his successor.
On Thursday, the board appointed assistant superintendent Kathy Everidge to serve as interim superintendent. Everidge oversees human resources as a VPS assistant superintendent and is a 38-year employee of the district. In 2016, she moved into that role after serving as chief schools officer and as an assistant superintendent.
In a statement through VPS, Webb said, “I am immensely grateful to this community, our partners, school board members past and present and all of our incredible employees over the years who have made a difference in the lives of children.
“Together, we have left an indelible legacy, transformed students’ lives, built new partnerships and strengthened our community.”
Also Thursday, the board chose four finalists for the superintendent’s position:
- Dr. Karen Cheser, superintendent, Fort Thomas Independent Schools, Fort Thomas, Kentucky.
- Dr. Kenneth (Chris) Hurst, superintendent, Othello (Wash.) School District.
- Dr. Hector Rico, director of diversity, equity and inclusion, Pacific Collegiate School, Santa Cruz, California.
- Dr. Jeff Snell, superintendent, Camas (Wash.) School District.
A webinar featuring all four finalists is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16 over Zoom. It is open to the public.