News

Peterson named principal at BHS

The school board taps the longtime educator, calls

him ‘a perfect fit.’

Brent Peterson will stay for the long haul.

Peterson, who has served as Bainbridge High School’s interim principal since Dave Ellick retired from the post last June, was selected for the permanent slot by the school board, following an executive session last week.

“I’m incredibly honored to have the opportunity to continue,” Peterson said. “It’s been fantastic to become part of the high school community.”

The selection was made with some dispatch, Superintendent Ken Crawford said, as Peterson was being considered for the superintendent position in another district.

“There were candidates we spoke to and who visited, and the bottom line is that Brent stood head and shoulders above everyone else,” Crawford said. “We really found ourselves asking whether the other candidates could do as good a job as he has as interim principal.

“I think he initially came in not knowing if it would be a perfect fit, but he’s a real delight and we’re very happy with what he’s accomplished this year.”

The appointment closed a national search that turned up five candidates who met the school board’s standard of five years experience as building principal. But none of the contenders had headed a school as large as BHS, and none showed a resume with experience as broad as Peterson’s, Crawford said.

In 1981, when Peterson came to Bainbridge to become Blakely Elementary School principal, he had already served as an assistant principal at the intermediate school level and worked at all levels, K-12.

After 11 years at Blakely, Peterson was made assistant superintendent for instructional services, a post he held from 1992 to the spring of 2001 when he left for what was planned as a four-year sailing trip. The junket was cut short by homesickness and the offer of the BHS slot.

Crawford praised Peterson’s leadership tackling student drug and alcohol use and planning for mandated changes in high school curricula and new graduation standards.

Peterson has worked to involve the site council, parents and students in decision-making, Crawford said, and his endorsement was echoed by the school board.

“We feel very fortunate to have someone of Brent’s quality,” school board member Cheryl Dale said. “It’s a bonus that he already knows our community, our parents and our staff, all of which makes him a perfect fit for our district.”

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