I went to the Q & A sponsored by the PTA tonight. Boy am I glad I went.
On the panel were five people, all of them taking on new jobs.
Susan Enfield, the new Superintendent; Robert Boesche, the new CFO; Pegi McEvoy, the new COO; and Sherry Carr and Steve Sundquist who are completely new to providing governance and oversight as Board Directors.
I have to say that every time Dr. Enfield spoke I was more and more pleased with her appointment to the job. She spoke about students instead of schools. She spoke about the connections between teachers and students. She spoke about accountability in ways that came closer to being concrete terms. And when she had to deliver bad news, she did it. She was honest about what could or couldn't be done and she was honest about the way things are. It was wonderful.
Every time that Steve Sundquist spoke it made me try to think of everyone I knew in West Seattle who might be able to run against him. Maria Ramirez, where are you? We need you. He pretty consistently said the wrong things.
Mel took notes and she's the journalist on the team, so I'll let her write another thread with the details, but WOW! Dr. Enfield ran the table. She was great.
Newsy bits: Dr. Enfield wants to add a second Executive Director of Schools to southeast Seattle. I guess she thinks that the Executive Director job is a good place to invest. This way the two of them will have half as many schools to follow as Michael Tolley has now.
Dr. Enfield definitely wants to invest in early intervention. I'm not sure how she is going to pay for it. She definitely wants the District to take a role in assuring that the interventions are provided and she wants the District to take a role in facilitating them.
Dr. Enfield wants to use the MAP the way in was intended to be used: as a formative assessment to lead to more personalized instruction for students. She talked about a MAP report that had the scores on one side and suggestions for differentiation on the other. Not a mandate or a requirement, she was quick to say, just suggestions.
Dr. Enfield expressed, in this one brief meeting, more appreciation and respect for the work of teaching than I heard in three and half years from her predecessor.
There was a lot of vague talk with all of the usual buzz words: accountability, trust, blah blah blah, most of them coming either from Robert Boesche or Steve Sundquist. They weren't so impressive.
Dr. Enfield was really great. She might actually be the honest, caring, hardworking person who could change the culture in the JSCEE. She'll have help from the two people she has hired, from the new General Counsel, and from others. The possibility is now on the menu.