John Belcher

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The search for the new superintendent of the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District ended with the selection of Mount Si High School Principal, John Belcher.

Belcher said he leads by listening to student voices, and building relationships between the school district and surrounding community.

“One of the things I’m known for is utilizing students through dialogue to help adults understand what we need to reform and change,” Belcher said. “I think you will see a stronger presence in board meetings with students. A lot more survey data and things like that to really let adults know what we need to really focus on and change.”

Belcher said when he looks at CERSD and the surrounding community, he sees a dedicated workforce of teachers and educators, surrounded by community support. He sees a lot of potential and good things but understands schools have been affected by the current unrest in the nation.

“Behaviors in school are like none we have seen before, and this is nationally,” Belcher said. “They (students) are modeling what they see in adults, and this is causing division in schools and increased unrest, this directly impacts achievement and positive futures for our children. My first step will be to bring people together, address how we have civil discourse, and remind all stakeholders it really is about the students.”

He plans to give students a voice in their district, have them shape the future of the schools, and bring them into important conversations. He believes uplifting students to this important role will show the district cares about them and teaches them their opinions and views are important. A lesson that is important at school, and in life.

Not only will students be taking a larger role in district decision making, but will be working closely together as students and educators, no matter the grade level. Belcher said he wants to resolve issues K-12, narrow the gaps and involve peer-to-peer instruction with upperclassmen working with underclassmen.

Acknowledging student voices fits into Belcher’s other goal as superintendent, to build trustworthy and cooperative relationships between just about everyone involved in CERSD. He knows the community wants its students to receive the best education possible and has seen this enthusiasm firsthand.

“I went to a baseball game the other Friday night and there must have been a couple of hundred people there,” Belcher said. “For a small community, it shows a lot that people would turn out just to support high school youths.”

Belcher knows making these changes and system reforms will take time, and stated people can count on him to be loyal to the community. He worked as a principal, implementing these ideals at Mount Si, for 11 years, and will stay with CERSD as long as necessary.

“Cle Elum-Roslyn is where the Snoqualmie Valley School District and Mount Si High School were 11 years ago,” Belcher said. “On the brink of major growth, changing demands and voices on the system, and a need for what I anticipate will be expansion of the district.”