The University Place School District will be undergoing some changes come July when current Deputy Superintendent Jeff Chamberlin takes the reigns of leadership and replaces Superintendent Patti Banks, who has been in the position for 19 years.
Chamberlin began his education career in the Tacoma School District as vice principal at Jason Lee Middle School. In 2005, he came to University Place as the principal of Curtis High School where he began working closely with Banks to help continue to make the school district one of the best in the State. He worked even closer with her when he was promoted to Deputy Superintendent three years ago.
"I've worked closely with Jeff Chamberlin since I first hired him as principal at Curtis Junior High School 10 years ago; the last three years as Deputy Superintendent, he's taken a leadership role in virtually every aspect of the district's operations, so he knows the students, families and staff of the district well,” Banks said. “More importantly, he understands and is committed to the high expectations and priorities that the community holds for its schools. That's a tremendous advantage; in terms of making this leadership transition a positive one. “
Chamberlin’s goal is to emulate Banks’ success within the district, continuing to focus on every aspect that makes the University Place School District a special place.
“[Banks] has been an exceptional leader for a really long time here; she’s accomplished many things in many ways; what this district doesn’t need is someone to come in and change the direction, its hard work to keep that high performance,” Chamberlin said. “I really have one big priority, we have a really impressive record of success in many areas, primary in academic, performing arts and athletics. My job will be to maintain that very high level of performance that we see through our organization, to allow that record of success to continue.”
The University Place School Board made their selection last Wednesday, Oct. 28. Chamberlin was the only candidate they had in mind.
“He has many exceptional leadership qualities, but among them are his commitment to maintaining the district's intense focus on the quality of the instructional and co-curricular programs that we offer our students. It is this focus that sets UPSD apart, and that has resulted in such excellent outcomes for our students,” Banks said.
The change will take place on July 1, 2016, and Banks, dean of all Pierce County school superintendents, will go into retirement.
“Jeff is gifted with intelligence, integrity, a formidable work ethic and a sense of humor; he will provide responsive, positive and service-oriented leadership to UPSD's students, families and community. I am very confident the district will be in excellent hands,” Banks said.
When Chamberlin takes over next year and the spotlight is on him, his main motivator will be remembering that every project he undertakes is for the benefit of the children in his district.
“Like any good leader, I’m a hard worker, I have good communications skills; any good educator will keep what’s best for the kids at the forefront of their thinking. The decisions we make as an organization are always that we need to be looking out for the students all the time. We do a lot of things in the school district; teaching students is the most important.” “Chamberlin said. “Good knowledge of what good instruction looks like and a strong instruction background is something that will serve me well.”