Todd Horenstein announces retirement from Vancouver Public Schools

Assistant superintendent’s retirement decision and central office budget reductions prompt changes in administrative personnel

VANCOUVER — Longtime Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) Administrator Todd Horenstein, who joined Vancouver Public Schools in 1984, has announced his intent to retire from the district in Aug. 2020. 

As assistant superintendent for facility support services, he has served as the lead administrator in four phases of school construction and renovation projects totaling nearly $1 billion of facility improvements. Additionally, during his tenure he has overseen other support services, including the district’s maintenance, transportation and safety departments. He also has managed collaborative planning processes, established partnerships between the district and community organizations and provided other executive leadership support.

“Todd Horenstein’s contributions to Vancouver Public Schools cannot be overstated,” said Mark Stoker, VPS board president. “We owe him our heartfelt gratitude for dedicating his career to creating future-ready school facilities.”

In preparation for Horenstein’s retirement, VPS is re-organizing some of its executive-level leadership positions. Subject to board action, the following personnel changes also are related to the consolidation of duties necessary after five central office administrator positions were eliminated to help balance the district’s budget for 2019-20.

  • Dr. Mike Stromme, associate superintendent for administrative services, will be promoted to deputy superintendent. Stromme’s oversight responsibilities will include curriculum, instruction and assessment; school operations; and instructional technology services. He will continue to provide leadership of the district in the number two position.
  • Brett Blechschmidt, assistant superintendent and chief fiscal officer, will be promoted to associate superintendent and chief operating officer. Blechschmidt’s oversight responsibilities will include fiscal, human resources, nutrition, transportation, maintenance and facility support services.
  • A.J. Panter, director of operations, maintenance and transportation, will be promoted to executive director of facility support services. Panter’s oversight responsibilities will include maintenance and transportation services. He also will lead the bond-funded construction and renovation projects after Horenstein retires.

“I appreciate the willingness of Mike Stromme, Brett Blechschmidt and A.J. Panter to take on broader leadership roles,” said Superintendent Steve Webb. “We’re committed to providing high levels of service to our schools and community with fewer resources in central administration.”

Information provided by Vancouver Public Schools.

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