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Dick Post receives award
ARLINGTON — Dick Post rescued the Arlington School District from chaos in the early 1970s and his service to the community has continued since then.
He stayed in town long enough to earn the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Stillaguamish Senior Center which will be presented Nov. 12.
“Dick Post was just what Arlington needed,” said David Duskin, a board member of the senior center who co-chaired the high school bond committee when a remodel was approved under Post’s leadership in the 1970s.
“He arrived in Arlington at a critical time. The school district was in bad shape when the entire school board resigned after two years of conflict,” Duskin said. “It could not pass a levy, let alone a bond for new school buildings.”
Five new board members were appointed in 1971 by the Educational Service District and they began a search for a new superintendent.
Judge Bob Bibb was one of the new board members who selected Post.
“We went to Port Orchard to interview him,” Bibb said.
“They took a chance with a junior high school principal who was advised by many to stay away from Arlington,” Duskin said.
Post had just received a master’s degree with superintendent’s credentials from the University of Washington in 1970.
“He went to work immediately to build trust,” Duskin said.
The first try at a levy failed, but he persisted and they began to pass. With a turnaround in school support, a bond was passed for a new middle school and it was named in his honor. After rejecting proposals for a new high school, voters agreed to fund a proposal for a major remodel instead.
In 1978 Dick was chosen as the Washington State Superintendent of the Year by the state association of school librarians.
“Dick is also very proud of the role he played in the creation of the Sno-Isle Vocational Skills Center,” Duskin said.
Post grew up in Everett and graduated from Everett High School in the class of 1941. Congressman Henry M. Jackson appointed Dick Post to the U.S. Naval Academy, but he failed to meet physical requirements due to poor vision.
He was, however, able to convince an Army recruiter to accept him and he enlisted in Nov. 1942, serving as an instructor at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland until 1946.
After his term, Post studied mathematics and secondary education at the University of Washington.
In 1950 Dick married Dorothy and took a teaching position at Wapato Junior High School. He received his principal’s credentials in 1955 and served as principal of a junior high school in Port Orchard from 1960 to 1971.
Post retired as superintendent in Arlington in 1985, but taught school administration as an adjunct professor at Western Washington University until 1994. He has published several articles and helped districts with labor problems. He continues his service to the Arlington community as a member of the Byrnes Performing Arts Center advisory commissions.
“His success at Arlington could be contributed to his involvement with the community,” Duskin said. He was active with the Chamber of Commerce, which made him a lifetime member after his retirement. He joined the Rotary Club when it was a year old and served as secretary, president and director.
One of the people who hired Post, Bob Bibb agreed with Duskin.
“Dick knew education and he was good with people,” Bibb told The Arlington Times Monday. “His degree in math also helped him with budgeting. He definitely deserves the award.”
Duskin added that the fundraising breakfast on Nov. 12 will be the first major event in the newly renovated hall at the senior center.
Bob Drewel will be the keynote speaker for the event. The breakfast starts with registration at 7 a.m. and breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. at 18308 Smokey Point Blvd. The first four recipients of the award were Howard Christensen, Don Meier, Harry Yost and Ruth Yost.
Anyone who would like to attend should call Karen Kay at 360-653-4551 and ask for an invitation.