#SVSDEmpowered: new superintendent brimming with enthusiasm, engagement

Starting a new job typically comes with challenges: new people, new systems, new dynamics. Taking over a position from a  respected community member who headed a high-functioning school district for 13 years, can set the new job bar pretty high, but new Snoqualmie Valley School District Superintendent, Rob Manahan, seems undaunted by the challenges.

In fact, if anything, any perceived challenges only seem to make him more enthusiastic about his new role.

One of the first things Manahan did on July 2nd was launch his new Twitter handle: @svsdsupt. He is the first Snoqualmie Valley upper level administrator to use Twitter professionally, but it is something he was very familiar with as the former head of the Pennisula School District in Gig Harbor.

There is no lack of enthusiasm from Manahan, who also launched a Twitter hashtag – #SVSDEmpowered – and challenges his followers to inspire others using it.

In addition to the normal new job transitions  – like getting to know staff and establishing relationships with administrators and school board members – Manahan also walked right into contract negotiations with the teachers union, which required maintaining a balanced budget while also providing competitive salaries.

It was no easy feat, but the district and union did come to a settlement prior to the start of the new school year – something other local districts haven’t yet accomplished.

Manahan brings with him to the Snoqualmie Valley 30 years of education experience, including being an elementary and middle school teacher and principal, serving as a 6-12 grade Executive Director and most recently heading the Chelan and Penninsula School Districts.

HIs job has made him no stranger to moving. This summer he relocated to Snoqualmie and then in late August his wife, a mental health counselor, joined him. He said they’re hanging on to the house in Gig Harbor, though, and will utilize it as an AirBnb rental.

Manahan said he is excited to be here and understands how challenging public education is, with its ever-changing requirements and expectations as districts are charged with preparing students for ‘college, career and life readiness.’

But he says he’s up to the challenge and brings with him a critical thinking, growth mindset – always looking for new innovations to engage students and show them that hard work and effort equals results. Manahan said he’s ready to listen to tough questions and examine the district’s practices. He said he’s also interested in learning from teachers. If they leave the district he’s open to exit interviews to discover ways they might improve.

Manahan believes great schools reflect great communities – that it all should be connected, including strong relationships between schools and local businesses, which is why he joined the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce and will serve on its board. He hopes to bring a better understanding of careers to students, along with what is involved, whether it be a college degree or mentorship and job training.

Enthusiastic, ready to build relationships and engage others appear to be at Manahan’s core. He knows he’s taking the helm of a great school district and looks forward to building upon it…. one Tweet, meeting, handshake AND video of a children’s book reading at a time.

To engage with Superintendent Manahan you can email him at manahanr@svsd410.org or follow him on Twitter 

And for all you Cougs out there, he’s a WSU graduate and there’s no shortage of #GoCougs on his Twitter feed. But Manahan also got his masters at WWU and doctorate at UW – so don’t shy away from replying #GoViks or #GoDawgs!

 

Superintendent Manahan preparing to record a book reading video for incoming kindergarteners.

 

 

 

 

 

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