Superintendent Nyland's Announcement
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Nielsen to the role of Deputy Superintendent where he will lead integrated planning efforts, including cross-functional issues and projects that require inter-department coordination and community collaboration. Steve will provide leadership for the District’s day-to-day operations, systems improvement, government relations, policy and School Board relations, the ombudsperson and customer service, and our new Office of Civil Rights. Steve comes to us with a wide and deep range of experiences across the state and has a strong background in systems improvement and performance management. He previously served SPS in the role of Executive Director of Logistics and Acting Executive Director of Finance. Steve is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Management and Governmental Relations with the Puget Sound ESD. Steve will assume this position in mid to late January and will take over responsibilities from our current Deputy Superintendent, Charles Wright. Charles is leaving the district to pursue career goals and has graciously agreed to stay for the next several weeks to help with the transition.
In August of this year I unveiled a new organizational chart, along with a memo to let you know that I would continue to assess the organizational structure and make further adjustments to support system coherence. The continued focus on the strategic plan, my Superintendent SMART Goals and Board governance priorities continue to drive my decisions. After careful consideration of the unique skill sets on my team, I am pleased to share that I have asked two senior leaders from my cabinet to take on different roles in the district. Drs. Brent Jones and Clover Codd will be changing roles. Brent will become the Chief Strategy and Partnerships Officer and Clover will become the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.
I’ve made this decision for several reasons. With the recent adoption of our Board governance priorities and the goals, we have made a public commitment to close opportunity gaps for all students of color and those students who are historically underserved by our school system. Part of this strategy is a commitment to implement our African American male and other students of color initiative. Having attended SPS from kindergarten through graduation at Franklin HS, Dr. Jones has deep community roots that will support this very important work. He is passionate about issues of race, equity and social justice. Brent has extensive experience in strategic initiatives, leadership and organizational development, as well as roles as assistant superintendent in urban school districts and executive level experience in higher education. He will oversee Community Partnerships, Family Partnerships and Research & Evaluation to coordinate, leverage and align departmental strategies, and ensure there is coherence and implementation across departments.
Dr. Clover Codd has been leading our Professional Growth and Evaluation efforts for the past four years and leads strategic initiatives aimed at ensuring that we have the highest quality educators teaching in, and leading our schools. These initiatives include the Seattle Teacher Residency, Urban Schools Human Capital Academy – both of which currently reside in Human Resources. She has been a key member of our negotiation teams for both teachers and principals and I have asked her to lead a new effort to build stronger relationships with our Labor Partners. In Clover’s new role she will lead a new strategy to collaborate with SEA and PASS to design and implement a Peer Assistance and Review program that enhances and builds upon our current evaluation efforts. Because of Clover’s experience as a teacher and principal in Seattle, we are able to ensure that the work of HR is centered on educator support and effectiveness, and a coordinated and focused approach to building coherence between Human Resources and schools’ needs. She will be leading the effort to ensure that the HR service model supports our programs and our employees.
Brent and Clover have agreed to support each other as they transition into the roles and ensure that all of their current work continues as planned.
These leadership changes support our intentions around a strong central office team to support our service to schools and making sure the right people are in the right seats on the bus. With the addition of Noel Treat as General Counsel also starting next week, I am looking forward to an exciting year with strong leadership support from a very experienced and talented team. Once again I am so pleased to be a part of an amazing school district which I grew up in, and to work along with all of you who are so dedicated to our work, and the students and families we serve.
Happy New Year, - Larry Nyland
Dr. Larry Nyland
Seattle Public Schools