Superintendent among 42 new faces at Pioneer


September 1, 2022

File photo

Jeff Davis

The Pioneer School District welcomes its students next Wednesday with a new superintendent and two principals among 42 new employees.

The last school year was tumultuous for the district. In February, the Pioneer School Board placed Superintendent Jill Diehl on paid administrative leave almost two months after the Pioneer Education Association presented them with a vote of "no confidence" against her. Former Southside Schools Superintendent Doris Bolender replaced her as acting superintendent.

Jeff Davis took the helm as superintendent the first week in July. The native of Newberg, Oregon, worked in Oregon schools for 35 years as a teacher, football coach, athletic director, assistant principal and superintendent before spending nine years as superintendent of the Onalaska School District in Lewis County.

Davis said he has known Bolender for nine years, and she and others convinced Davis the district "needed stability and building trust back."

Of the 103 certified and classified employees, 42 are new, including both school principals, Davis said. The district has new directors of human resources, special education and payroll.

Gordon Weeks

Student artwork greets visitors outside the entrance to Pioneer Elementary School.

The district is seeking bus drivers, and provides training. For more information, contact the human resources department at 360-426-9115, ext. 3008.

"Transportation is everyone's bugaboo since COVID," Davis said.

The district projects 725 students this school year.

District administrators were working inside a portable in the elementary school parking lot, but it has been removed. In the late spring or summer, it is scheduled to be replaced with a $2.4-million district headquarters, courtesy of state grants, Davis said.

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The school board will work on a new strategic plan, and plans to improve the buildings, Davis said.

"It will be a great year," he predicted.

Winter break begins Dec. 20. Spring break is April 4-8. June 14 is the tentative last day of the school year.

Author Bio

Gordon Weeks, Reporter

Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald
[email protected]


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