By Oliver Lazenby
After 13 years as Blaine school district superintendent and 36 years in public education, Ron Spanjer announced plans to retire at the end of August 2019.
“This is something that my wife and I have been thinking about for a while,” he said. “Thirteen years is a long time. It’s been a very positive experience and I’ve worked with very supportive people and incredibly dedicated board members, so the years have really gone by quickly.”
With the three-year Blaine High School construction project coming to a close this summer, the timing seemed right, Spanjer said. He counts that as a standout project during his tenure, along with shifting all district schools to the same schedule and expanding college in the classroom and career and technical education programs, among other things.
Before coming to Blaine, Spanjer worked for the Port Angeles school district as assistant superintendent for eight years.
In retirement, Spanjer plans to spend more time with his family. He has three kids and other family members scattered throughout Washington and Oregon.
“It will be nice to take a step away from a 24–7 schedule and do more than just fly-by visits with family,” he said.
Spanjer’s decision to retire isn’t related to the district’s forecast $1.1 million budget deficit for the 2019-2020 school year or the district’s need to reduce salaries, he said, “Not at all, this is just the time.”
“I’ve committed to stay through August to see that budget process through,” Spanjer said. “We’ll get to the other side of it and there will be a quality program in place with quality staff supporting kids. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind about that.”
The school board is holding a special meeting from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 29, to discuss the process of hiring a new superintendent. Larry Francois, superintendent of the Northwest Educational Service District 189, will discuss how other districts go about recruiting and training new superintendents.