An Ambassador For Children
A District Leader Places Child Learning Above All Else
by Dr. Rod Berger
I had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Susan Enfield, Superintendent of Highline Public Schools, WA at the 2017 AASA conference in New Orleans. She explained how the role of superintendent in the last 15 - 20 years has shifted from that of an administrative leader spending time in the district office to a hands-on, visibly active force involved in teaching and learning decisions.
Susan believes in supporting student learning and encourages up-and-coming leaders, both men and women, who have chosen administration for the right reasons. She is interested in aspiring leaders driven by needs outside of ego, prestige or money. Susan feels strongly that a superintendent acts as an ambassador for children, and that should represent their principal motivation.
Public education is being politicized more than ever, and that there is a lot of misinformation being disseminated at the national, state and local level. Susan understands that it is the responsibility of leaders like herself and her peers to communicate the truth by conducting open conversations within the community.
Susan is a wonderful example of a clear, driven leader whose communicative skills bring success to a large and diverse district.
About Dr. Susan Enfield
Dr. Susan Enfield is the Superintendent for Highline Public Schools in Burien, Washington. Prior to Highline she was the Chief Academic Officer and Interim Superintendent at Seattle Public Schools. Before her work in Seattle, she served as Deputy Superintendent for Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, WA.
Before she moved to Washington, she was the Director of Teaching and Learning for Portland Public Schools in Oregon where she oversaw curriculum, instruction, federal programs and professional development district-wide. Before that she served as the Bureau Director for Teaching and Learning Support for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, where she developed education policy and implemented standards-based curriculum and professional development for over 500 school districts.
She began her career in education as a high school English, ESL and journalism teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After seven years in the classroom she joined the UC Berkeley Teaching and Learning Alliance as a high school support provider coaching principals and assisting middle and high school teachers engaged in whole-school, standards-based reform aimed at closing the achievement gap.
Dr. Enfield is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and earned master’s degrees in education from Stanford University and Harvard University. She also earned a doctorate in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University with a concentration in the Urban Superintendents Program.
Follow Dr. Susan Enfield on Twitter.
This post was originally published in the Huffington Post by Dr. Rod Berger.