There was also an email announcement from the superintendent.
Dear principals, teachers and staff:It appears that Mr. Tolley will supervise the principals at Mercer, Aki Kurose, Cleveland STEM, Rainier Beach, Middle College, Interagency, Southshore, and ORCA (not South Lake), while Ms Dusseault will supervise the principals at the elementary schools in the Mercer and Aki Kurose Service Areas.
Today I am appointing Brianna Dusseault as a second Executive Director of Schools to support Seattle Schools' Southeast Region.
Ms. Dusseault, who currently serves as Executive Director of the Northwest Region, is a proven leader in turning around low-performing schools. She brings experience as a teacher and administrator in high-poverty schools and has researched the practices of high-achieving urban schools and successful turnaround strategies in other urban districts. She joined Seattle Public Schools in 2010 and she lives in the Southeast Region.
Ms. Dusseault will share responsibility for the performance of and support to Southeast schools with the current Southeast Region Executive Director of Schools, Michael Tolley. Together, they bring considerable experience to this region. Prior to being assigned as the Southeast's Executive Director of Schools, Mr. Tolley served as SPS's Director of High Schools for three years with notable successes. These include higher graduation rates, increased student access to advanced placement courses, a greater number of ninth-grade students earning at least five credits, and creation of a STEM program at Cleveland High School.
I strongly believe that having a second Executive Director in this region is key to helping underperforming schools. Our Executive Directors of Schools work intensely with our principals to support teachers. Our principals must be the instructional leader in their schools, and the primary job of the Executive Director of Schools is to support them in this work. We have high expectations that our principals will be instructional leaders, and the Executive Directors support them by being in every school, and every classroom.
Attached you will find a more in-depth plan for how these two Executive Directors of Schools will work with the Southeast community and Southeast schools.
The District is beginning a search for a new Executive Director of Schools for the Northwest region. Ms. Dusseault will remain engaged with those schools until her replacement is found, and the Northwest schools and community should expect to still receive regular visits, communication and support from Ms. Dusseault through the end of the school year.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact me.
Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Seattle Public Schools
There is a lot about this that I find intriguing.
The first curiosity is the idea that the addition of administration will improve student outcomes. I have seen this idea played out before in Seattle Public Schools. We saw the addition of teacher coaches all around the district as an effort to improve student outcomes. We saw the addition of a second principal at Rainier Beach as an effort to improve student outcomes. Now we see the addition of an executive director of schools as an effort to improve student outcomes. Gee. How about the addition of TEACHERS to improve student outcomes. I would really like to have someone explain to me exactly how closer supervision of principals will result in higher student outcomes. What's the Rube Goldberg mechanism at work there?
The second curiosity is the division of the elementary schools to Ms Dusseault and the K-8s, middle schools, and high schools to Mr. Tolley. Didn't Dr. Enfield just get finished re-organizing the executive directors by region instead of by school level? Didn't she just get done convincing us of the value of having one person responsible for the whole K-12 pathway? Why isn't that the case in the Southeast? Why weren't the schools divided geographically between the two executive directors?
Finally, I am not convinced that the District has the cash for this. Is this really the best use of $150,000? Better than three teachers? Better than instituting some kind of intervention plan? Am I to believe that we don't have any higher priority than this?