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Rowley a finalist for job in SpokaneThe state's second-largest district courts the BISD chief.

"Superintendent of Bainbridge schools Steve Rowley is one of three finalists for the superintendent post in Spokane.Spokane school board members, who invited Rowley to apply after conducting a nationwide search, will hold final interviews next week and announce a choice May 31. Rowley could not be reached for comment, but news - announced by the Bainbridge district in a Thursday release - was met with reflection by school board President Ken Breiland.To be asked to apply was a compliment and a great opportunity for his career, Breiland said. This is a natural progression - to take the experience you gain from one job to the challenges of a new position.When Rowley was hired as Bainbridge superintendent in 1997, he had already held positions as a teacher, coordinator for an alternative school, elementary school principal and college professor, as well as the assistant superintendent post in Bellingham. Spokane boasts the second largest public school system in Washington, behind Seattle, with approximately 32,000 K-12 students enrolled in 47 schools. The annual operating budget for the Spokane district is $240 million, almost 10 times that of the Bainbridge district. The skills that Dr. Rowley brought with him to Bainbridge would be an asset to him in Spokane, said Ken Crawford, assistant superintendent for human services. Although a large district, it is similar to Bainbridge, with a strong, supportive community. The Spokane district was assisted in the search for a superintendent by Jim Huge and Associates of Denver, Colo., an independent consultant.The other candidates are Brian Benzel, assistant superintendent and chief operating officer of the Seattle schools district and John Keegan, superintendent in Sioux Falls, S.D. If Dr. Rowley is selected, we are very fortunate to have qualified staff to help us through the transition, Breiland said. "

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