Nick Wold Named New Mercer Island High School Principal
As Interim Principal Nick Wold accepted on behalf of MIHS, Full Accreditation status for the next 6 years from the Washington Association of Educational Service Districts, in partnership with the Association of Educational Service Agencies, at the February 9, 2023, School Board Meeting.
March 13, 2023
Dear Mercer Island High School and Community,
The high school principal in a single high school district is a very important position, which is further amplified here on Mercer Island. MIHS is a top-ranked school in the state, supported by passionate parents who value education, comprised of educators dedicated to the profession, and energized by the most incredible students in the country. As exceptional as the school is today, I know the potential is there to be even better tomorrow.
Our school district began the search and selection process for the next MIHS principal in January. The candidates we attracted came from around the region, out of state, and even international schools. Finding and hiring the right candidate included several steps:
- Surveys to collect interests from parents, staff, and students;
- Focus group follow-up discussions to learn more about specific characteristics and expectations;
- Initial candidate file reviews and reference checking;
- Screening interviews;
- Formal interviews with three different panels/tour groups made up of parents, staff, and students; and
- A final interview with the Executive Director of Finance and Operations, Executive Director of HR, Legal, and Compliance, and me.
I want to thank everyone who either answered the surveys, emailed me, joined a focus group, or participated in the formal interview panels.
The shared interests I heard from the feedback centered around academic excellence, improved teaching and learning, expanded opportunities for all students, continued support for athletics, student-centered decision making, steady leadership, compassion, equity, rigor, and attention to the social and emotional well being of everyone. While I support and agree with these, I also had a vested interest in finding someone who was going to care about Mercer Island High School and Mercer Island School District as much as I do. I can teach any of our finalists the technical aspects of being the principal of MIHS. The candidate I was looking for also needed to possess what I cannot teach, how to have a heart as big as this Island for students, blood that is more maroon than red, and the untethered desire to make MIHS even better.
I am pleased to announce the candidate I selected to lead Mercer Island High School is our current interim principal, Mr. Nick Wold. Given the complexities of education emerging from a pandemic, increasing competition amongst private, public, online and other schools, and needs of our students in and out of the classroom, we cannot afford to spend another minute sizing up the challenge. As an internal and qualified candidate, Mr. Wold stands ready to immediately further what has already started this year to advance MIHS forward. Mr. Wold’s understanding of the school and community; growth and evolution as a leader; willingness to listen, learn, and adapt; commitment to the best interests of MIHS; and dreams for what students can achieve give me the confidence that he is the right person for the moment.
Mr. Wold joined Mercer Island School District six years ago after teaching and leading in the Monroe School District. He grew up here in Western Washington, attended Central Washington University, and later earned his Masters Degree from Central Missouri University and principal credential from Western Washington.
Please join me in congratulating Mr. Wold.
The students, staff, and community continue to amaze and inspire me. Students are excelling in and out of the classroom through athletics, clubs and organizations, and even personal pursuits beyond MISD. Some of our staff members are gaining recognition by local, state, and national organizations. And our families, they are volunteering through the schools and PTA, supporting the Mercer Island Schools Foundation, and sending eager learners to school each day. I will highlight specific events coming in May, but also invite you to read more about recent accomplishments and points of pride at the end of this letter.
The Mercer Island School District, in partnership with the Mercer Island Preschool Association (MIPA), hosted an Inclusionary Practices Roundtable for Mercer Island Preschool Directors this afternoon. The roundtable took place in the Board Room in the MISD Administration Building.
The Mercer Island Destination Imagination (DI) teams had a fantastic showing at both the Regional and State DI competitions. At the regional tournament 21 of the 24 teams earned awards and recognition for their work. This included several special awards recognizing exceptional technical designs, integration of music into their solutions, and the inclusion of superior engineering elements.
Upcoming in April, we have more religious and cultural celebrations to recognize. Though some of these spiritual or days of significance fall either on a weekend or when the schools are closed for spring break, we will continue to recognize and make space for our students and staff who participate in the many traditions.