Marysville starts search for next superintendent

Christopher Andersson, North County Outlook,

The Marysville school board has begun the process of finding a new superintendent by contracting with Northwest Leadership Associates to help conduct the selection process.

After nine years of serving as Marysville’s superintendent, Dr. Larry Nyland announced on Jan. 3 he will retire at the end of this school year.

The school board said they appreciated the weight of the decision and that this process isn’t being taken lightly.

“We know this is a major assignment for the school board. It is the one thing we do that matters the most,” said school board member Cindy Erickson.

The board wants to find a replacement who will be as successful for the district as Nyland was during his nine years.

“I hope we only have to make this decision every nine or ten years,” said school board member Tom Albright.

The school board hired Northwest Leadership Associates during its Jan. 7 meeting.

Northwest Leadership Associates is a consulting firm that has specialized in screening and selecting superintendents and other school system leaders since 1999.

“We’re certain that Northwest Leadership Associates is going to deliver on their promise to not only find a great new leader to follow Dr. Nyland but also to involve the community,” said school board member Pete Lundberg.

The school board is anxious for input from the Marysville community about what they want from a superintendent and hired Northwest Leadership Associates in part because of their experience in gathering community opinions.

Lundberg hopes that a full cross-section of the community comes out to express their desire and looks forward to hearing opinions “from people of all walks of life.”

The board has wanted to reach out to the community for more than just the superintendent issue and hopes that this public process will help jumpstart that.

Nyland said he is encouraged that this will help get community members motivated to engage with the school district and hopefully, he said, this will be just the first round of community engagement.

Community relations are important because the superintendent not only runs a school district, but has to maintain and build its relationships with the community, said school board president Chris Nation.

Which is why, Erickson said, the new superintendent needs to be “somebody we believe in that can move the district forward. Someone who can continue to build relationships both within the community, within our school and within our partnerships.”

The school district has been improving steadily over the last decade, said board members, and they want to find someone who can continue that progress.

“We have a lot of things that seem to be headed in the right direction. We have a very motivated staff and it’s important we continue in that direction,” Lundberg noted.

Board members expressed that Nyland will be remembered and that whoever replaces him will have a tough act to follow.

“Larry, I wanted to say, you will be missed. You’ve proven yourself, not just in education, but also in who you are and how you’ve taken things that have not always been easy to take,” said Erickson.

“[Nyland]’s here in the morning. He’s here in the evening. He’s always sending me e-mails about new educational programs he’s found on the Internet. It’s 24/7 to him, and it truly pushes me to do more,” said Nation.

Nyland’s retirement announcement and personal message to the community are available at

Northwest Leadership Associates will be conducting surveys and public meetings to collect community opinions over the coming months.


Upcoming meetings:

The Marysville School District will hold two meetings for district parents, Marysville and Tulalip community members and district partners learn about, and provide input, for the new superintendent search process.

Meetings will be held at the Marysville School District Service Center Board Room, located at 4220 80th Street NE, Marysville, 98270, on Tuesday, 1/29/13 at 7:00 PM and Thursday, 1/31/13 at 6:00 PM. Both meetings are open to the public.

An electronic survey is available on the district website at
For more information on the search process, contact Jodi Runyon at or (360) 653-0800.