College Place picks principal for new high school

Walla Walla education administrator Kirk Jameson will start his new job July 1.

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COLLEGE PLACE — A long-time Walla Walla Public Schools administrator has been chosen to lead the new College Place High School.

The College Place School Board voted 3-2 Tuesday to hire Kirk Jameson as principal of the city’s new public high school, to open for the 2014-15 school year.

Superintendent Tim Payne said Jameson was contacted Tuesday and had accepted the position pending contract negotiations.

The board spent about two hours in executive session Tuesday to discuss the two final candidates for the position. Board members Troy Fitzgerald and Marci Knauft voted against, while Doug Case, Brian Maiden and Susan Moulton were in favor.

The board had been considering Jameson and Dan Calzaretta, Explorers instructor for Pioneer Middle School in Walla Walla, as the two finalists for the job.

Case, board president, said the lengthy discussion spoke to the caliber of both candidates. In the end, Case said, Jameson emerged as a more complete candidate for the job.

“Both of these men are very highly qualified,” Case said. Case said the selection process and winnowing was a thorough one that involved community and district input, including a candidate forum with the two finalists last week, and feedback sheets generated by community members following the meeting.

Payne said Jameson will begin his job July 1, and spend the first year as a planning principal while College Place High School is under construction. Jameson would assume regular principal responsibilities as the school welcomes its first freshman class in fall 2014.

The salary range for the new position is $94,000 to $106,000, Payne said, with the top salary in the first planning year at $100,000.

Jameson spent several years as an assistant principal at Walla Walla High School, and has served as director of career and technical education and director of assessment and technology since 2011.

Jameson has also been overseeing construction of the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center as planning director.

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