Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Alex Apostle will not be the next superintendent of the Bellevue School District in Washington state, but that doesn’t mean he won’t pursue other opportunities in the future.

“I love my job here,” Apostle said Wednesday afternoon. “I love the people here and I’m satisfied. But to say that if someone recruited me for a great position, I couldn’t say I wouldn’t be interested in it. That happens to a lot of people. That’s the way the world works.”

Following two hours of discussion Tuesday evening, the Bellevue School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to offer the job to Tim Mills, who has served as superintendent of the North Clackamas School District in Oregon since 2009.

Mills has indicated that he’s excited about coming to Bellevue, but contract negotiations are pending, said Jacque Coe, director of communications for the Bellevue district.

Apostle was one of three finalists for the job. The other finalist was Mark Mitrovich, superintendent of the Naperville Community Unit School District in Illinois since 2009.

It’s the second time in less than two months that Apostle has been a finalist for a superintendent’s job at a larger school district in the Northwest but was not offered the post.

He was one of two finalists for the superintendent’s post in the Spokane School District in April. The board gave the job to Shelley Redinger, former superintendent of a school district in Virginia with an enrollment of 24,000 students.

Bellevue School District serves about 18,000 students in 27 schools. Missoula County Public School District has 8,750 students.

Apostle said he was heavily recruited to apply for the jobs in Spokane and Bellevue, Wash., and that his pursuit of superintendent jobs elsewhere does not stem from any discontent in Missoula. He is not involved in any current job searches.

“I’ve always challenged myself throughout my life,” Apostle said. “Sometimes you have to take risks. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. That’s the American spirit.”

Several school board trustees have come to terms with the fact that Apostle is sought after.

“This is what happens when you have a world-class leader,” said Toni Rehbein, MCPS trustee chairwoman. “If we had a run-of-the mill superintendent it wouldn’t be issue because no one would be after him.”

“At commencement addresses, we exhort our graduates to dream big,” said Scott Bixler, a school board trustee. “That is what Dr. Apostle has done for MCPS. He has dared us to dream big. To expect anything less from him in his professional life seems to me somewhat hypocritical.”

Other trustees find Apostle’s actions unsettling.

“I feel like the guy in high school whose girl cheated on him twice,” said MCPS Trustee Jim Sadler. “A lot of fences have to be mended. When people say they want to leave, you become a little tentative with them.”

Sadler’s opinion of Apostle’s job performance, however, hasn’t changed.

“Dr. Apostle has done a great service to this district,” he said. “I’m hoping that he’s finally settled down because he’s done a good job.”

Certainly board members are concerned about Apostle leaving. It’s unlikely it’s the last time that Apostle will be recruited for a job in another school district. At this point there’s been no board discussion of trying to retain Apostle by sweetening his pay or benefits. There also has been no discussion about what would happen if Apostle were to leave. Those discussions would only take at the point where Apostle had another job offer in hand, Rehbein said.

(19) comments

GaryTinkSanders
GaryTinkSanders

I am glad to see that I am not the only one who sees Alex desperately seeking another job. As MCPS continues to flip the middle finger at us so does the Missoula county commissioners, the city of Missoula and the Mayor. Seems to me there is a trend here.

mpp
mpp

At this point it is evident that the Missoula community at large, overwhelmingly do not share the same affection for Alex Apostle that the school board does --that's a no brainer. The MCPS school board doesn't care what the community of Missoula wants or doesn't want, they have their own agenda at this point in time. They believe their collective heads know better than the community what it good for our children. Alex Apostle answers to this school board. They are his boss so to speak. The MCPS answers to the community. We are their boss so to speak. The board chooses to flip the community the middle finger at every juncture. We can't fire them, being elected officials they know they have so many years to continue to wreak havoc. Alex Apostle on the other hand, cannot flip the board the finger, he'd be in violation of his contract and fired immediately. Therefore, it's easy to make Alex Apostle a scapegoat, I've done it myself for the past few years. Alex Apostle himself holds very little if any power. It's the MCPS school board that is getting THEIR agenda met by "using" Alex Apostle, knowing full well that at the end of the day, HE will take the majority of the heat while they sit back and continue to give him massive accolades. They have to give him accolades otherwise anyone would grow weary of all of the attacks. It would seem by Alex Apostle applying for all of these other jobs, that he himself is getting tired and knows this MCPS board's agenda is going to fail. He's smart to try and get out now, however, this board has convinced him that he is a real "winner" and can go anywhere. Obviously, that's not happening. He doesn't seem to shine as brightly out there in the interviews as he does with this board. Alex Apostle is doomed to retire in Missoula, Montana unfortunately at the cost of this community. Meanwhile this board of dictators will continue running and re-running for their seats because they KNOW THEY CAN!

castigate
castigate

Bellevue's loss is Missoula's.

on the way back
on the way back

I feel like I have heard it all before. We moved back to Missoula to have the quality of schools that I had as a child. I watched Portland's schools flat-line in 2006 and now the Missoula has the same sickness. In 2006 an "innovative" "exciting" "out of the box" superintendent was hired for PPS. Vicki Phillips - must be related to old Alex 'cause she came in and closed neighborhood schools that were highly supported by the community and had test scores 2nd to none. Then she moved to sell or lease the buildings. Some developers got great deals. She eliminated positions and froze the pay of the teachers. Mainstreamed the extremely (violent)special ed kids and increased class size. No music, PE or art classes. Charged families $285.00 month for kindergarten. Millions of dollars worth of infrastructure repair was ignored. She had her HR guy fire all the custodians, who later sued and the district had to pay back wages, a settlement, and give back the jobs. At the height of her chaos, she decided to take a job with the Gates foundation and left Leaving a totally demoralized district. I feel like I am just holding my breath, hoping we can just get through the next 5 years and my kids will be out of school. I don't know what to say to parents who are just starting out. My heart go out to them.

MT_Mama
MT_Mama

"this is how the world works"... really? How about "this is how the school system DOESN'T work"? The current model of top-heavy administration and poorly-paid teachers is not working. How about going back to the drawing board and finding a new system, one that benefits students, teachers, and education the most? Why do things have to be done the same ol' way, decade after decade?

Missoula has a chance to build a better mousetrap, but no, they'll probably just keep throwing money at overpaid administrators, and say, "Well, that's how we've always done it." You might want to read Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery."

TILLMAN
TILLMAN

THERE'S NOT TOO MUCH LEFT TO SAY--------------
THIS "I'M ALEX APOSTLE, I'M SO IMPORTANT, ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS WANT ME" HAS GONE WAY PAST THE POINT OF RIDICULOUS.
AN AMOUNT OF FAITH HAS BEEN RESTORED TO ME, WITH THE GENERAL CONSENSUS OF THE MAJORITY OF MISSOULA RESIDENTS------"GET RID OF THIS OVERPAID POMOUS A$$, WHO SPENDS MORE TIME APPLYING FOR (AND GETTING TURNED DOWN) MORE LUCRATIVE JOBS, THAN HE SPENDS DOING THE JOB THAT MISSOULIANS ARE ALREADY PAYING HIM WAY TOO MUCH FOR.

walter12
walter12

There are two sides to this coin. Mr. Apostle has burned his bridges in Missoula, he has got to go now. He, also, stepped on alot of toes at the MCPS. When he arrived, there were alot of very cocky administrators and Principals at the MCPS. They knew that they had it very good and very cushy in Missoula. Apostle moved many of them and downgraded some, and it was quite a shock to them. This was the good part of Apostle, but he is now too grasping.

LLRain
LLRain

“World-class leader” Toni, you’ve lost your grip.

Jrob
Jrob

Highly recruited for these positions according to himself. According to myself I'm awesome incarnate. 0 for 2, Alex. Retire already.

Scoop
Scoop

Leaders set big goals and inspire others to change by commuting themselves to the cause and leading by example. They don't do this by keeping one eye on the door. It is disappointing to see someone who has such an impact on the education of our kids set such a poor leadership example. It is even more jarring when he justifies his actions by saying this is "how the world works". This is how opportunists work, plain and simple.

carbo
carbo

Apostle is like 95% of all administrators; all talk and no action. He talked the talk but now he can't walk the walk. It is all about the money and they scratch each others back to force the board to pay them more. None of them are worth mroe than a teacher. It would be interesting to see how a district would run w/o a supt.

babblingin
babblingin

Glad he is still here and wish my kids would have been attending school under the 21st Century Teaching....apparetnly those who are badmouthing it have not researched what it entails...simple enough if u log onto the MCPS website and read about it and the advancments that our school district is making...I have observed this teaching in my hometown in Iowa...they've had it in place for 3 years and it's amazing the opportunities that are offer to our children. The children that are taught under these teaching will be so much more prepared to become more productive adults because of "real life" ~ "hands on" (along with the core) education they recieve under the 21st Century Teaching....apparently the age old teachings that has been taught over the decades has not enabled the majority of our nation with the education and tools needed to keep up with the changing times...that are inevitable. The classes are more hands on and interactive and pertinent for our childrens success in graduating from high school and knowing what to expect because it has been taught to them at an early age....instead of being thrown to the wolves upon graduation...or worse yet...living with the their parents til they're 30!!!
So if u haven't ...I urge u to investigate the 21st Century before badmouthing it...and as far as Alex being here...I hang my head in disgust and embarrassment to the way that those of u who chose to take an instant dislike to him ..then badmouthing him before he was even out of the gate....u've treated him poorly....bcause of what...changes....ohhh and wait...he received a salary that didn't set well with u??? Problem is...what u all don't know is that a portion of that he puts back into the school so he can conduct and do what he had proposed....no budget for it...so from his extra pay he is able to do so...using part of his salary...so it's not all going into his pocket....Really ppl....I don't blame him for wanting to leave....I hope he continues to listen to the ones that support him and to turn a blind eye and ear to the bunch of you all that have issues.....I hope he stays to see this implementation of the 21st Century Teachings thru....okay...off my soap box...u all have an awesome week!!

Sherman
Sherman

All AA did was spout off a lot of google searches. He has no depth and the house of cards is coming down. By this time next year the school district will be in serious financial trouble and he will be gone.

Janice
Janice

I don't really think the question of if he wants to be in Missoula or not is relevant. Moving up the food chain is a basic principle of working and having a career. Everyone should aspire to better themselves.

Having said that, there must be a reason he isn't making the final grade, so to speak, with other schools. What's he lacking?

The fact of the matter, and it's not been disputed, is that he inflates enrollment numbers with creative bookkeeping. A student isn't shown withdrawn from school. Lets say a kid doesn't return for his senior year. He is still shown on the roster. What's going to happen is this year or next he won't have those numbers to fall back on, and will have to do some other creative number crunching to skew things again. Has the school board ever vetted his accounting methods? To my knowledge, they have not. They take a bottom line figure. Does anyone vet out or know how he is doing his counting?

He is even a joke in Helena and Bozeman, but then again so is our city council, football team, and university.

Luckily, I don't have any more kids in school, they got out before education went into the toilet.

5GenerationMTN
5GenerationMTN

Does anyone else notice a resemblance between Mr. Apostle and Herr Burgermeister Meisterburger from Santa Claus is Coming to Town?

MT_Mama
MT_Mama

While of course it's anyone's right to apply for other jobs and move, it's glaringly obvious that Apostle does not want to be in Missoula. Why not give him 24/7 freedom to pursue other opportunities by giving him a pink slip, saving the district some money in the process?

Born Here
Born Here

I'd fire his a$$, and hire somebody who actually wants the job. Obviously HE doesn't.

Buzz Feedback
Buzz Feedback

I'm thrilled we're paying Mr. Apostle a huge, inflated salary so he can send out resumes while his Regional Directors run the district.

hellgatenights
hellgatenights

Yep......Bellevue doesn't need a 64yr old hack who just wants to enhance his retirement benefits.

Question:

What does Missoula do with his lordship now? He does not want to be here and yet.......here he is?

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