Bellingham High School has a new principal, and it’s a face students know.
Jeff Vaughn had been serving as interim principal since June, after the search to replace longtime principal Steve Clarke wasn’t successful.
Clarke has been executive director of teaching and learning for Bellingham School District since July 1.
Vaughn had been serving as Clarke’s assistant principal since the school reopened after renovations in 2000. The lifelong Bellingham resident has worked for the school district for 33 years.
Greg Baker, Bellingham school superintendent, announced Vaughn’s appointment Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Baker praised Vaughn’s leadership, saying he had the ability to “cultivate strong relationships with students, families and staff, and advance the positive learning culture at BHS.”
Vaughn began as a teacher’s aide at Sehome High School, eventually teaching special education at Bellingham, Sehome and Ferndale high schools. In 1991, he became assistant principal and athletic director at Sehome High, where he stayed until moving to Bellingham High.
He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Washington University.
In the search to find a permanent replacement for Clarke last school year, the district received 19 applicants for the job. None of them came from within the district.
Three candidates were brought to the district, met with officials and members of the school community, and toured the school. After that, Baker said he didn’t think any of the candidates were the right fit.
On Wednesday, Baker also announced Rae Anne Thon as the new transportation manager for Bellingham Public Schools, a post she had held on an interim basis since the end of last school year.