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February 28, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Susan Enfield announced as Highline school district's next superintendent

Susan Enfield, right, speaks at a news conference in Burien. At left is Highline School Board President Angelica Alvarez. (Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Highline Public Schools announced this morning that Susan Enfield will be its next superintendent.

The move is subject to contract negotiations, a background check and an official vote, but Enfield and Highline School Board President Angelica Alvarez both treated those as formalities during a news conference this morning at the Highline district’s headquarters.

“I will not let this community down,” said Enfield, the interim chief of Seattle schools.  “I will work tirelessly on behalf of the students and staff here.”

The job at the 18,000-student district would start July 1, the day after Enfield’s position in Seattle ends – a commitment she plans to keep, Enfield said. The contract would be for three years; salary terms have not yet been finalized.

In choosing Highline, Enfield spurned advances from Bellevue School District officials, who were exploring an accelerated interview process with her for their superintendent vacancy.

Enfield said she was impressed by Highline’s staff and school board. She made the decision after spending Friday interviewing at the district, she said.

“I don’t think it’s so much what Highline has that Bellevue doesn’t,” she said. “I just thought the fit (was better).”

Enfield said she plans to relocate her family to Highline. Her husband currently lives in Portland. “We can’t wait,” she said.

Alvarez praised Enfield’s experience and passion for equity.

Enfield has led Seattle Public Schools since March 2011, when a financial scandal led the School Board to fire Maria Goodloe-Johnson as Seattle’s superintendent. Prior to that, Enfield served as the district’s chief academic officer.

Although she impressed many during her time in Seattle, some were concerned about her history of staying at jobs for short periods of time; before Seattle, she did brief stints in academic roles at Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, at Portland Public Schools and at the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Comments | More in Education | Topics: Bellevue School District, Highline Public Schools, Seattle Public Schools

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