Seattle school superintendent finalist Steven W. Enoch withdrew his candidacy Saturday night, citing his sense that he is not right for the job.
Enoch, currently the superintendent of San Ramon Valley Unified School District near San Francisco, emailed his decision to Seattle School Board members at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“I have concluded that what Seattle needs is a younger person, potentially able to provide longer stability and direction for the district,” wrote Enoch, who will turn 63 next month. “I believe you have two very viable candidates that will better meet the long-term needs of the district.”
Enoch added he enjoyed his visit to Seattle for final interviews last week.
“I loved the tours of the schools, meeting with staff, students and community leaders,” he wrote. “I most enjoyed meeting each of you as you are all wonderful individuals, who give unselfishly so very much to the the children of Seattle.”
In a brief statement, School Board President Michael DeBell expressed disappointment in Enoch’s decision.
“We know this is a two-way process and we want to find a leader who is a good fit for Seattle, and who believes Seattle is a good fit for them,” DeBell wrote.
The School Board scheduled a meeting Sunday evening to discuss the other two finalists: Jose L. Banda, superintendent of Southern California’s Anaheim City School District and Sandra L. Husk, superintendent of Oregon’s Salem-Keizer School District.
Seattle Public Schools has a history of its superintendent finalists dropping out. During the last national search, in 2007, one of two finalists took his name out of contention, leaving only Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who was hired. The time before, in 2003, all four finalists withdrew.