The following is the statement read by newly appointed Seattle Public Schools Interim Superintendent, Dr. Susan Enfield:
"As interim Superintendent, I look forward to working closely with the School Board, teachers, staff, parents and community to focus on providing our 47,000 students the highest quality education possible.
This is a very difficult time for us all. I know there are serious questions about our fiscal stewardship that we must, and will, answer for the community, our taxpayers, district staff, teachers, families and students.
Our immediate priority is to restore public trust in Seattle Public Schools. We will begin with the hiring of an interim Chief Financial Officer and a Chief Operating Officer. There is a national search underway for permanent replacements for these positions. We are also replacing the district's internal auditor. I will work diligently with the School Board to make sure we hire only the best qualified people for these critical positions so that we can direct our energy where it belongs: serving our schools, teachers and students.
I will also work to ensure that our financial and operational issues do not detract from the quality of day-to-day teaching and learning in our classrooms. I know from my experience as Chief Academic Officer how incredibly fortunate we are here in Seattle to have dedicated and committed staff at all levels of the system who have continued to keep their focus on our students during these challenging times. I want to thank each and every one of them for this and I will be reaching out in the coming weeks to hear from them how we can work together to move forward in our core mission of educating all students. I especially want to acknowledge our teachers and principals and pledge to them my ongoing commitment to providing them the leadership and support they deserve.
I also commit to being out in the community listening to comments, questions and concerns about the School District. I will continue to have an open door policy so parents, employees and community members can offer input directly on how we can continue to improve.
Finally, I am committed to strengthening communication within the district and across our city with our community partners and our families.
As I have acknowledged, this is an incredibly challenging time for Seattle Public Schools, but it also presents us, both as a school system and a community, with an opportunity to come together on behalf of our students. Now is the time for us to model for them how to responsibly and respectfully engage in difficult but honest problem-solving together. As I said before Seattle is a community that uniquely supports its public schools. I know the community's faith has been shaken by recent events, but its commitment to our students remains strong. I share and will honor that commitment by serving this community, and especially our students to the best of my ability."