The idea of Jim Shank leaving as superintendent in the Coupeville School District for another job became a shocking reality last week when it was announced that he was a finalist for superintendent in Twin Falls, Idaho.
“Wrong Jim Shank,” he said, jokingly. “There are only like 60 of us around.”
In fact, Shank is one of three finalists for the Twin Falls superintendent’s post.
He and the other finalists are meeting with trustees in Twin Falls this week for a second round of interviews. The school district is hoping to announce its new superintendent on April 3.
“It’s not that I’m unhappy here at all,” Shank said. “I’m really happy. It’s just looking at possibilities for my career.”
Shank is familiar with the Idaho education scene. He worked for 13 years in the Idaho Falls School District, where he began his administration career as an assistant principal.
“It’s not terribly far from Twin Falls,” he said.
Shank, who grew up in Longview, in southwest Washington, received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University before earning his doctorate from Idaho State University.
At Idaho Falls, Shank rose to the role of director of federal programs before leaving in 2010 to become superintendent of the Juab School District in Utah, then came to Coupeville.
The school board has given Shank excellent ratings during his time in Coupeville, which is in the middle of a major facilities-improvement project and recently celebrated a 93.5-percent graduation rate.
Shank said he feels the same way about Coupeville, but the opening in Twin Falls caught his eye.
The superintendent there, Wiley Dobbs, a hometown product, is retiring this year.
“I’m just doing some career exploring,” said Shank, adding that money isn’t part of the consideration.
“I filled out a materials request. They selected me as a semifinalist. I went over to interview. That’s where we sit.”
Shank brought Coupeville stability to its leadership after the school district went through three interim superintendents during the 2012-13 school year after Patty Page accepted the superintendent’s job with the North Kitsap School District.
Twin Falls is a school district with an enrollment of about 9,300 students.
Coupeville has 930 students.