Joe Belmonte stays local in Washington for top position

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Tenino School District has a new chief educator, and the move to his new district shouldn’t take much drive time.

Joe Belmonte, the current assistant superintendent specializing in elementary education at the Lacey-based North Thurston School District, will start July 1 in Tenino pending successful contract negotiations. Belmonte will replace Russ Pickett, who announced his resignation in February to become the superintendent of a school district near Corvallis, Oregon.

Tenino School Board President Trisha Claridge said the board had a tough job figuring out which of three finalists for the position would come out on top, but ultimately Belmonte’s years of experience in education and his connections across Thurston County won out over the other two candidates.

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