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School board approves Zmuda as new associate principal
Following the recommendation from Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano, the Mercer Island School Board approved Mark Zmuda to be the new associate principal at Mercer Island High School at its board meeting Thursday, May 1. Zmuda will officially begin work at the high school July 1.
“I am very excited to be working with the Mercer Island School District,” Zmuda said while addressing the board before its approval. “I value education very highly and I come from a family of educators, so I’m looking forward to continuing with education, hopefully here at the Mercer Island School District for quite some time.”
The former Eastside Catholic vice principal, who was dismissed from Eastside Catholic School in December after marrying his male partner, was selected from a group of five semifinalists, all from the Puget Sound region, that had some sort of previous administrative experience. That group was narrowed from a pool of 60 applicants from across the country, mostly consisting of applicants from Washington state, but also including applicants from the East Coast and the Southeast, as well as from states like Missouri and Texas.
When asked how the Eastside Catholic controversy was considered in the decision to hire Zmuda, Plano said it wasn’t a disqualifying factor.
“Mr. Zmuda was hired because of his qualifications, his interview with members of the interview team, which included students, and because he was the number one candidate,” said Plano.
“We feel his personal life is his and what he is doing with the archdiocese is his. He’s doing what’s best for him and his family. That doesn’t concern his public school employment.”