Bryon Bahr has been hired as the Rainier School District’s next superintendent.
“I’m very excited,” said Bahr, 55, who has served as principal of Rainier Middle School and Rainier High School for five years. “We can just continue the work that we have been doing.”
Bahr was selected unanimously by the Rainier School Board to replace Tim Garchow, who is leaving at the beginning of August to become executive director for the Washington State School Directors’ Association.
The Rainier School District has three schools, and serves about 850 students. Garchow has reassigned assistant principal John Beckman to the position of Middle/High School principal.
“Mr. Beckman has served us well over the past few years and he is now ready to lead our middle (and) high schools as their principal,” Garchow wrote in an email to the district’s teachers and staff. “As with Mr. Bahr, I have complete confidence that he will continue serving our students and staff with the high level of support and transparency that we have all come to expect from our administrators.”
Bahr grew up in Parkland and has a bachelor’s degree in history from Pacific Lutheran University and a master’s degree in education leadership from City University. He is getting his superintendent credentials from Washington State University.
Before working in Rainier, Bahr was assistant principal at Henry Foss High School in Tacoma for six years.
His wife Krestin is superintendent of the nearby Eatonville School District in Pierce County.
“She gives me lots of advice,” Bahr said. “She’s probably my biggest fan and my biggest critic — in a positive way. She’s very supportive of me doing this.”
Bahr said he’s already had a chance to collaborate with his wife on some combined projects between the two rural districts.
“Our teachers meet with their teachers, and we talk about professional development with them,” he said. “We’re also looking at a couple of other options.”
He said he’s happy that he gets to stay in the Rainier School District.
“The community and the staff are so supportive of one another,” Bahr said. “It’s just a great place to work. … It’s a small rural community that cares about their kids. It’s very nice.”