by Jack Mayne
Susan Enfield was officially and unanimously voted to become the next superintendent of the Highline School District Wednesday night (Feb. 29) at its regular board meeting.
Enfield will begin the job on July 1, once the formality of both sides agreeing on a contract for her services.
“I already have her on speed dial – I’ve called her several times of day already,” said board President Angelica Alvarez. “I feel we can all work together.”
Highline’s interim Superintendent Alan Spicciati said he has known Susan Enfield as a colleague for some time.
“We have had the opportunity not only to bond as interim superintendents but to work together and discuss the work of education in a lot of settings,” Spicciati said. “She has always been professional and sincere.
“I invite you (the meeting audience) to get to know her as I do on a personal level and you will that that she is just a really good person. Welcome, Susan, and congratulations on being the seventh superintendent of the Highline School District in 71 years.”
Then he thanked the board for, “by my count, the board has worked on two Saturdays, two Sundays, five evenings in full meeting, not to mention lots of other work reviewing applications and doing all the leg work, especially President Alvarez. On behalf of the community, thank you.”
Enfield said she and Spicciati will develop together a transition plan “that will allow me both to prepare me for my July start date and ensure that I will fulfill my responsibilities to the staff, students and families in Seattle so that they can end the school year on a strong, positive note as well.”
“One of my first visits on this transition plan will be a return visit … to the Human Geography class at Health Sciences and Human Services High School where I visited on my first day. I will be honest, all of you were wonderful during the interview process,” Enfield told the board, “but the kids sold me. I intend to go back and let them know that my interaction with them, though it was brief, reminded me of why I became a teacher and now a superintendent and that is to ensure that every student graduates with all options available to them because we have prepared them well and empowered them to determine what their future holds.
“I am enormously humbled and grateful for this opportunity and I cannot wait to work alongside of you.”
Board member Bernie Dorsey said the decisions on the superintendent candidates were some of the most difficult he has had to make.
“But, on Friday (when the board met with Enfield), it was clear who our new superintendent should be. Her selection “feels like the right decision to me.”
The district’s newest board member, Tyrone Curry, said, “As the public gets to know her, you will be as proud of her as we are.”