Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Wade Smith is recommending the hiring of Kristina Duncan as the new principal of Pioneer Middle School. Her recommendation will be presented to the Board of Directors May 2 to complete the official hiring process. Current Principal Mira Gobel has accepted a leadership position at ESD 123 in Pasco. Her last day is June 30. Upon approval of Superintendent Smith’s recommendation, Duncan would report to her new assignment July 1.
The district utilized a comprehensive applicant screening process to narrow a list of nearly 20 applicants down to three finalists. Nearly 30 staff engaged in the formal hiring process which included an arduous interview, extensive school walk-through activity and public meet and greet session. The selection process also generated nearly 100 feedback cards for the recommendation team to review and consider.
“Although the quality and depth of all three finalists was noteworthy, both the interview and walk-though teams identified Duncan as the ideal candidate to lead the school,” said Superintendent Smith. “Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this critically important process as we welcome Kris Duncan back to the district!”
Duncan is currently the assistant principal at Davis Elementary in College Place. She was also an administrative intern at Walla Walla High School for two years and an English teacher at Walla Walla High School for nine years.
“I am beyond honored and humbled to have been chosen as the next Head Principal for Pioneer Middle School,” Duncan said. “The prospect of leading a school as it meets the social, emotional and academic needs of adolescents in my hometown is exciting, and also a huge responsibility. I look forward to helping this incredible staff continue to build a culture of rigor, support and love for the students in our valley.”