SEATTLE – The Seattle Public Schools board on Thursday announced its three finalists for superintendent, including one with ties to Washington state.
The finalists, who were selected from a pool of 40 applicants, are Jose Banda of Anaheim, Calif.; Sandra Husk of Salem, Ore.; and Steven Enoch of San Ramon Valley, Calif.
School Board President Michael DeBell said he wants the next superintendent to have experience with unions.
"We're looking for someone who can get a fast start, who can hit the ground running when they arrive in seattle," DeBell said.
DeBell highlighted Banda's fluency in Spanish and experience running a system where many students were learning English for the first time.
"He did a great a job of reaching out to english language learner community in anaheim," DeBell said.
Enoch, DeBell said, "has a real understanding of how technology can be used in the classroom."
And Husk, he said, has "been able to raise student achievement while going through budget cuts three times what we've experienced in washington state."
Husk has one blemish on her record -- a DUI arrestin 2000. But DeBell said that happened a long time ago and is not a pattern.
The three candidates will come to Sseattle seperately next week to meet with the board, the media, and a citizens group. They will also tour some schools.
The search of a new superintendent began after Maria Goodloe-Johnson was fired more than a year ago following reports of wasteful spending. One of the key players in the scandal, Silas Potter, Jr., is accused of bilking $250,000 from the school district when he ran the Regional Small Business Development program. Potter pleaded not guilty.
Interim superintendent Susan Enfield accepted an offer in February to become superintendent in the Highline School District.
Bios for the three finalists:
Steven W. Enoch is superintendent of the 30,000-student San Ramon Valley Unified School District for the past four years. Before that, he spent time as superintendent of both the San Juan Island and Mead school districts in Washington state.
“Under Mr. Enoch’s leadership, the (San Ramon Valley) District changed teaching and learning through a massive infusion of technology and community partnerships in support of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM). Mr. Enoch also managed the fast growth of the District, including securing land for a new school through a partnership with a major home developer and the City of San Ramon,” according to a Seattle School District press release.
Dr. Sandra L. Husk has spent six years running the 40,000 student Salem-Keizer, Ore. School District.
“Under Dr. Husk’s direction, the District focused on teacher quality through the development and implementation of an educator evaluation model and relevant professional development. She designed and implemented a District-wide strategic plan with accountability for all schools and departments, while building meaningful relationships with union leadership and key community leaders,” said Seattle Public Schools.
Jose L. Banda has served as superintendent of the 20,000-student Anaheim School District for the past four years.
“During this time, the District saw increased student achievement for all students, including English Language Learners. In addition, the District narrowed the achievement gap and 19 of 24 schools met their school-wide Academic Performance Index (API),” according to the district.
All three candidates will be in Seattle next week to meet with the school board, community members and the media.
No timetable for picking a new superintendent was announced.