Superintendent Search Process

Dear President Hampson and Seattle School Board,

Re: Superintendent Search Process – community engagement and timeline

We, the undersigned, who are community partners of Seattle Public Schools (SPS), are writing to offer support for community outreach and engagement during the Board’s upcoming Superintendent search process. In addition, we respectfully urge the Board to expedite the public phase of the search process in order to mitigate multiple factors in our current situation that may make community outreach and engagement particularly challenging. We share these concerns because, like you, we believe that students furthest from educational justice deserve a high-quality education that meets their needs, and that this requires that they and their families have the opportunity to be fully informed about and participate in important changes to their education system.

In our capacity as organizations embedded within many SPS communities, especially communities of color furthest from educational justice, we are well-positioned to assist with community outreach and in realizing the Board’s stated commitment to robust, equitable community engagement in the Superintendent hiring process. In this regard, we urge the Board to consider that current circumstances – including continuing restrictions on public in-person meetings, unresolved disparities in online access, pandemic impacts on housing and job stability, and the enormous complexity involved in returning to in-person schooling after over a year of unprecedented disruption – may warrant an earlier start than usual to the search process in order to allow full community participation in the process, especially by the communities that we serve.

While we understand the most recent Superintendent search process began in early January 2018 and continued through the school year, we strongly believe a longer timeline would allow our organizations to more fully engage the communities we serve and is, therefore, more likely to result in authentic community input into the search process. In order to support our community engagement efforts around the Superintendent search, we respectfully request that the following be shared by the Board as soon as possible:

The Board’s vision for the search process;
A timeline of the search process;
Information about the search firm selection, and opportunities for public input into the selection; and
The selected search firm’s budget, including a budget and funding source.


David Beard
Policy & Advocacy Director
School’s Out Washington

Michael Byun
Executive Director
Asian Counseling and Referral Center

Roy Chang
Lead Pastor
Seattle Chinese Alliance Church

Gregory Davis
Managing Strategist
Rainier Beach Action Coalition

Janice Deguchi
Executive Director
Neighborhood House

Leslie Dozono
Elty Consulting

Eric Holzapfel
Director of Field & Community Engagement
League of Education Voters

Michael ltti
Executive Director
Chinese Information and Service Center 

Lee Lambert
Executive Director
City Year Seattle

Rene Murry
Director of Public Policy and Advocacy
Youth Development Executives of King County

Roxana Norouzi
Executive Director

Erin Okuno
Executive Director
Southeast Seattle Education Coalition

Sierra Parsons
WA-BLOC (Washington Building Leaders of Change)

Steve Smith
Executive Director
Black Education Strategy Roundtable

Heidi (Schillinger) Sohn
Equity Matters

Jessica Warner
Executive Director
Youth Development Executives of King County 

Laura Wright 
WA-BLOC (Washington Building Leaders of Change)