Education

Richland’s new deputy superintendent is coming home

Richland’s deputy and successor superintendent is expected to start in her new position in July.
Richland’s deputy and successor superintendent is expected to start in her new position in July. Tri-City Herald

After roughly five years leading Oregon and Idaho schools, Nicole MacTavish is returning to Washington starting July 1.

The Richland school board recently chose MacTavish to fill the role of deputy superintendent for the district. As part of the deal, she will take over for Superintendent Rick Schulte when his contract ends in 2018.

As deputy superintendent, MacTavish is responsible for overseeing the district’s instructional programs.

“We are uniformly excited about this hire,” board President Rick Jansons said. “Dr. MacTavish is a talented instructional leader with a broad range of teaching and administrative experience.”

The district hired the search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates to conduct the search. A group of community members interviewed the final candidates in late March, and provided their opinions to the board.

We are uniformly excited about this hire. Dr. MacTavish is a talented instructional leader with a broad range of teaching and administrative experience.

Rick Jansons, Richland school board president

MacTavish started her teaching career at the University of Washington’s Experimental College as an undergraduate, offering enrichment courses to college students and the Seattle community.

She graduated the university with bachelor’s degrees in English literature and communications, and a master’s degree in education.

She began working in Oak Harbor as a high school counselor and later an English teacher. After earning her principal certification in 2002, she moved into administration at middle and high schools.

During her time at the Oak Harbor School District, she worked for Schulte, who led the school district for roughly 20 years.

After spending a year working on an U.S. military base in Germany, she returned to Washington’s Kent School District, where she became the assistant director of secondary inclusive education.

She left Washington for a two-year stint leading Redmond High School in Redmond, Ore.

I intend to stay for the long haul. I’m excited for my son to go to Richland schools.

Nicole MacTavish, Richland deputy superintendent

Her final move was to Nampa, Idaho, where she’s spent the last three years. First as the executive director of teaching and learning, then moving on to become the assistant superintendent.

MacTavish’s husband served in the U.S. Navy for roughly 20 years, which led to the frequent moves. He has since left the military and she is looking to set down roots in Richland. She is coming to the city with her husband and her 8-year-old son.

“I intend to stay for the long haul,” she said. “I’m excited for my son to go to Richland schools.”

The school district created the assistant superintendent position to allow MacTavish to learn about the superintendent’s job before she assumes the role. She said it’s a nice way to start a successful career as a superintendent, and instill stability in the community.

“The other thing that is amazing and wonderful is the community’s support for the school system,” MacTavish said. “(The schools) seem to have very strong partnerships with the labs and educational institutes there, which is exciting.”

She is planning on moving to the region in June. She said the education system in the state is progressive, and she was excited for the opportunity to return.

“I spent three different weekends up in Richland. The people were wonderfully welcoming,” she said. “It seems like a really nice place to call home.”

Cameron Probert: 509-582-1402, @cameroncprobert

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