After nine years at Central Valley’s Summit School and 34 years in the education business, Lyle Krislock walked through the doors one final time last Friday, June 15.
Knowing Krislock, one is certain the 57-year-old educator will not have much down time. Active could be his middle name.
“I have to manage my offshore accounts, try out for the Canadian Olympic team,” Krislock joked. “I almost feel guilty that I don’t have some specific focus.”
Like most retirees, he does have some things he needs to catch up on. “I’m really looking forward to spending time with my wife (Evita), quality time with my wife,” he said.
And, there’s a visit to see a daughter living in Alaska. He also wants to be able to regularly visit his parents who have relocated to Arizona for the winters.
Born in Melville, Saskatchewan but raised in California, he came back north in the summers where his family spent time in Sandpoint, and where Krislock met his wife. They have three grown children, Bryan 29, Audra 27 and Stacy 25.
He earned his bachelor's degree from California State University Fresno, his teaching certificate from Gonzaga University and a Masters in School Administration from Whitworth University.
Krislock, an avid and active member and former president of the Spokane Oldtimers Hockey Association, will also have time to get a summer hockey tournament that’s been on the backburner for a number of years.
The one and only principal Summit School has ever known – and formerly in the same role at Opportunity Elementary – Krislock hands the key off to Molly Carolan, the current principal at Opportunity.
Krislock heads off to pursue new adventures knowing his baby is in good hands.
“We have a good staff, there are some great parents,” he said.
Krislock is a parent or sorts when it comes to Summit. He spent 10 years in all there, nine as the principal and one year in the planning stages.
In all, Krislock spent 19 years as an administrator, all in the CV district. Prior to that he taught fourth and fifth grade at Chester and Progress elementary schools. He began his educational career in California in private schools where he taught K-8 physical education and seventh- and eighth-grade science and social studies.
But it’s been at Summit School where he seems to have truly made his mark and established his legacy.
Describing the K-8 Summit School can be a challenge. The school’s Web site probably best describes it.
“Summit School offers a rich learning environment in a highly collaborative setting. We offer an alternative approach to traditional public schools through expeditionary, student-centered learning,” Krislock said.
The school was born at a critical time, Krislock said.
“Central Valley has having declining enrollment and the superintendent Wally Stanley wanted to open up a further option for parents to keep students in the district,” Krislock said as he explained how Summit School came to be.
“We started with 125 kids and once we started is just started to roll,” Krislock said.
Summit currently has an enrollment of about 345 students, but has 500 on the waiting list.
What made Krislock the best candidate for this unique school setting? “Maybe it was nobody else would take the job,” he said with a laugh.
Seriously, Krislock went on to explain that he is not really a mainstream administrator. “I think I’ve always been looking for other options, other ways,” he said. “I believe there’s more than one way to educate a child,” he explained. “The school systems need to look at the different pieces of it.”
The strides that have been made over the years earned Summit a nice honor in Krislock’s final time as boss.
“We were identified as a Washington State Innovative School this year,” he said
The time was right for Krislock to hang it up.
“A lot of things came into play, but tops among them was his desire to not be one of those people who stay too long, he said. “I feel really good, the school doing very well.”
And what did Krislock see that made him a good principal for such a different school setting?
“What’s been good for me is that I’ve had such a broad range of experience in my life,” he explained. “(I was) born in Canada, lived in California, moved here, did things before I went into education. I worked in a private school, I coached, I water skied competitively.
“It helped my perspective on what I do,” Krislock said.
Did he have a best principal moment?
“Oh, there’s lot of them,” Krislock said.
Maybe his best memories are of Summit School as a whole.
“I feel very fortunate to be part of the Summit School community and the opportunity to truly look at education through a different lens providing incredible opportunities for our students,” he said.