Coupeville Superintendent Jim Shank was one of three finalists for the Twin Falls (Idaho) School District’s superintendent post. The school district announced Monday that it decided to hire one of its own longtime administrators for the position. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Twin Falls picks one of its own for superintendent post

Members of the Coupeville School Board breathed a collective sigh of relief Monday after the Twin Falls School District in Idaho announced that it was going with one of its own to fill its superintendent post.

Coupeville Superintendent Jim Shank was one of three finalists for the position. Brady Dickinson, who’s worked for the Twin Falls district for 22 years, was selected and will start the new job July 1.

“It’s hard to know what to say,” Coupeville school board president Kathleen Anderson said. “You don’t want to say, ‘We’re delighted.’

“We’re just looking forward to continue our growth and upward climb to make Coupeville one of the best small school districts in the state.”

The board has praised Shank for his leadership during his four years in Coupeville.

When he announced to the school board that he was exploring the career opportunity during an executive session last month, “there were tears … and more than one person,” school board member Glenda Merwine said.

“He’s just a good, good person,” she said.

Shank said he’s been very happy in Coupeville but the vacancy in Twin Falls caught his eye because of his familiarity with Idaho’s education scene and that part of the state.

Shank worked for 13 years in the nearby Idaho Falls School District, where he began his administration career as an assistant principal.

Twin Falls is a district of 9,300 students compared to nearly 1,000 for Coupeville.

In January, Shank received an “excellent” annual review by the school board, which extended his contract another year, keeping it at three years.

He came to Coupeville following a 2012-13 school year when the district went through three interim superintendents.