Today we are announcing several leadership changes that will improve our ability to support our schools and students.
Our Strategic Plan outlines a series of goals we must achieve over the next five years to improve academic success for our students. To meet the objectives outlined in the Every Student. Every Classroom. Every Day. strategic plan, we will need to accomplish several complex projects and develop a way to support and guide this work. We recently made two key hires that will help us strengthen our ability to provide better service to schools, students and families.
Barbara Robbins will now serve as the Director of Project Management and Guillermo “Bill” Echeverria has been hired as Director of Continuous Improvement. These are new positions for Seattle Public Schools and they bring a much-needed skill set to the work we are doing. Together, they will help us improve the coordination, sequencing, and execution of our work as a system. In turn, this will help us improve service to our schools and families.
Here is a little more information about what Barb and Bill will bring to our schools and staff in their roles.
As Director of Project Management, Barb will be responsible for ensuring major initiatives stay on task, including the 32 statements of work that must be executed as part of the Strategic Plan.
She will develop and implement a methodology to help us ensure the work related to these major initiatives is well-defined, well-planned, and properly resourced. As a part of this work, she will help increase transparency on what projects are planned or underway and what their status is, who the contact people are, and which schools or departments are impacted. An important part of her role is to monitor the impact to schools and departments so leadership can be aware of workload challenges. In addition, she will help ensure success and efficiency in our work by developing and implementing a standard way of running projects, which we don’t currently have at the District.
Barb has been at the District for the past four years in a variety of roles, including project manager for several technology system implementations, and most recently as Director of Technology Services.
Prior to her work at the District, Barb was a Senior Strategic Advisor for the City of Seattle, providing citywide oversight to the most business-critical technology projects. She has more than 15 years of experience in project management, including work at Casey Family Program as Director of Application Support and Director of Financial Systems, and at Timeline, Inc., where she implemented financial and business systems nationwide. Barb earned a Bachelor of Arts and holds a Project Management Certification from the University of Washington. Barb will report to the Deputy Superintendent.
As Director of Continuous Improvement, Bill will be focused on the day-to-day processes needed to improve our service to schools and students. For example, he will work with us to review processes such as enrollment services, transportation service standards and budgeting processes to ensure they are implemented in a way that is clear and meets the needs of our staff and families. Bill will be responsible for helping develop written processes that make it easier for staff and stakeholders to understand criteria guiding decision making, when opportunities for input will be provided, when decisions will be made, and how services will be delivered.
Bill served as Director of Operations and Continuous Improvement in the Strategy Office for Denver Public Schools, where he successfully led several operational departments and oversaw cross-functional projects, such as the streamlining of the early education application process serving 15,000 families.
A former math teacher, Bill most recently served as the Director of Business Operations and Continuous Improvement for CoreSite, an information technology company. His role was to lead, develop, and deploy a continuous improvement program to improve business processes and customer experience. He has a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from State University of New York at Binghamton, a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Lima in Peru and a project management certification. Bill will report to the Deputy Superintendent.
In addition, we have taken an important step to build upon our prior work in School and Community Partnerships, and to strengthen our Athletics programs.
Carri Campbell is now the Director of School and Community Partnerships, replacing Courtney Cameron, who left the District to take a role at the Seattle Housing Authority. In her new role, Carri will be responsible for strengthening the relationship between the District, schools, local community-based organizations (CBOs) and funders for the purpose of promoting educational excellence for all students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools. She will work closely with principals, Executive Directors for Schools, Curriculum and Instruction staff, and partners to develop a district-wide, integrated system of partnership supports aimed at enhancing educational opportunities and improving student outcomes.
Carri joined Seattle Public Schools in 2007, and most recently served as the Visual and Performing Arts Manager, leading a major partnership initiative with the City of Seattle, arts partners, and community to develop a K-12 arts plan called The Creative Advantage. The Creative Advantage is in its first full year of implementation.
Carri started her career as a teacher, and then served as Associate Curator of Education for the Tacoma Art Museum before joining Seattle Public Schools. She holds a Masters of Education in Integrated Curriculum from UW Tacoma and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Western Washington University. Carri will report to Clover Codd, Executive Director of Strategic Plan & Partnerships.
Eric McCurdy has been promoted from Director of Athletics to Executive Director of Athletics.
In this new role, Eric will have expanded responsibilities, including overseeing hiring of all head coaches, in conjunction with principals. All athletics concerns and issues will be handled directly by Eric’s department, rather than at the school level. He will also ensure our expanded athletics program, serving more than 10,000 students, is properly planned, implemented and effectively maintained to support student engagement, safety, coaching excellence and athletic program sustainability. He will help lead major changes in athletics, including the return of three of our high schools – Garfield, Roosevelt, Ballard – to the Metro League.
In addition, he will oversee the move to creating a robust middle school athletics program. As research has indicated, an effective and powerful athletic program can increase student connectedness to school, increase academic achievement and build school communities.
Eric has been at the District since 2010 and has served as Director of Athletics for the past year and a half. Under his leadership, he helped develop the first National Unified Sports Program in partnership with Special Olympics. He also serves on the Sea-King District 2 Executive Board, the Seattle Sports Advisory Board, the Washington State Secondary Athletic Administrators Association Executive Board (WSSAAA), the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Executive Board, National Tournament Committee, and Special Olympics/Unified Committees. Eric is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is also working on his Master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University and is a Certified Athletic Administrator.
Please join us in congratulating Barb, Carri and Eric on their new jobs and responsibilities and welcoming Bill to the District.
- After a fairly consistent stream of hiring - for new positions - I am not willing to believe that district hiring is on the same level as other districts. The district keeps touting this, just as they keep hiring, and it's just not plausible (unless you write what is an "administration" position.)
- Again, any "strategic plan" that has more than 10 items, is not a plan. That our district has 32 steps reminds me a lot of the days of Maria Goodloe-Johnson and her overloaded strategic plan.
- It's 2014 and the district says it doesn't have a way of "developing and implementing a standard way of running projects..." Wow, most districts wouldn't admit that out loud so good for SPS.
- Remember Mr. Echeverria's name because he is responsible for "helping develop written processes that make it easier for staff and stakeholders to understand criteria guiding decision making, when opportunities for input will be provided, when decisions will be made, and how services will be delivered." That's a huge job so this should be interesting.
- I also not that Mr. Escheverria did early education application processes for Denver Public Schools. Wonder how that ties in with the City's new universal preschool push.
- I am sorry to see Carri Campbell no longer heading Arts. She did a fine job.
- Mr. McCurdy was less than impressive at a recent Work Session when he did not come with any numbers to report or discuss with the Board (who did, indeed, ask about figures).