Bellevue School District names new interim superintendent

Dr. Art Jarvis will assume his new position on July 1.

Bellevue School District graphic (screen captured from the Bellevue School District Facebook page)

Bellevue School District graphic (screen captured from the Bellevue School District Facebook page)

The Bellevue School District Board of Directors have announced the appointment of Dr. Arthur (Art) Jarvis to the post of Interim Superintendent for the Bellevue School District.

Dr. Jarvis has a long, successful career in education administration. Recognized previously as Superintendent of the Year in Washington State, Dr. Jarvis has served as a superintendent for thirty-three years, all in Washington State. Currently, he is concluding three years in the Peninsula School District, and his prior superintendent service spans districts large and small, including Tacoma, Renton, Shelton, Enumclaw, and South Whidbey School Districts. He will start in Bellevue on July 1, 2021 and work with Acting Superintendent Eva Collins in the coming weeks to facilitate a smooth transition.

Dr. Jarvis highlights that the world of “Interim” is rich in opportunity. Having done prior interim superintendent assignments in multiple districts, he states, “For some, interim implies a holding period. To me it is just the opposite — there is a great deal of work that needs to be done in a very limited time. That is especially true right now.”

Ms. Collins said, “I welcome Dr. Jarvis to the Bellevue School District and look forward to working alongside him in planning for the Fall, as students return in-person full-time. Dr. Jarvis brings with him a wealth of experience as an interim superintendent and an understanding of how to support districts through transitions.”

Dr. Jarvis commented, “I am honored to have been selected by the Board of Directors to serve in Bellevue. This is a wonderful place, a lighthouse district, and there are so many great staff members here. I look forward to forging partnerships that expand supports for students. An essential component of my job is to help make it all come together for a full return in the Fall.”

He stated that this past year has seen the worst of the pandemic and brought immense burdens to students, school leaders, educators, staff, and families. “The confusion and difficulty presented by the pandemic has been incredibly hard on everyone, but right now we need to let people know that this Fall will bring a positive and exciting recovery,” Dr. Jarvis said.

“I believe another challenge for the Fall is the issue of learning equity. It is clear that some children and families weathered the 20-21 school year better than others. We need to identify areas where students need additional support, and begin the task of adding those supports in the right places.”

The Board of Directors approved the appointment at its meeting Tuesday after previously outlining a set of criteria. Directors noted that an interim leader will best support District administration as the additional experienced capacity allows staff to maintain their current roles rather than shifting expertise at this critical juncture.

In a joint statement, the Board noted: “Dr. Jarvis demonstrates outstanding leadership, including in times of crisis, bringing communities together in a positive and affirming way that serves the diversity of student needs. We are excited to welcome him to our exceptional District team. With his leadership we can move forward with supporting all students while we chart a path for a long-term superintendent search that deeply involves our students, families, educators, staff, and community partners.”

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