Edward Lee Vargas, superintendent of the Kent School District, who oversaw a rise in reading scores during a time of increasing student poverty, is leaving his post to work with a national — as yet unnamed — education nonprofit.
Named Washington’s state superintendent of the year for 2014, Vargas led Kent for six years and was widely recognized for his intense focus on increasing technology in education.
He often emphasized the importance of subject “mastery over seat-time,” a theme that characterized Kent’s heralded iGrad program for re-engaging dropouts, which won national recognition and a personal visit from Gov. Jay Inslee.
Vargas was traveling to Washington, D.C., on Friday and unavailable for comment about the announcement. He was scheduled to attended a three-day meeting of the League of Innovation Schools, which will include a visit to the White House.
A date for Vargas’ departure has not been set, said district spokesman Chris Loftis. Vargas will participate in the search for his replacement, he added.