6 to 1 Vote for Susan Enfield
Yesterday, during the Board of Trustees special meeting (video link here), the Board of Trustees each shared their candidate opinions, heard public comment and did a straw poll to determine Susan Enfield was the overwhelming choice of the Board to take on the Superintendent position. The final vote was 6 to 1 with the only dissent coming from Trustee Church, who chose Sherrell Hobbs.
Pending contract negotiations and an acceptance by Enfield, she will begin her tenure with WCSD in August 2022.
Battle Born Moms for Education Candidate Impression for Susan Enfield
She has had success up in the Pacific Northwest and has been a 10 year Superintendent in Washington...so she comes with plenty of experience. She brought up the graduation rate from 62% to 83% (though we don't know what policies were used to create those numbers.). She was awarded Superintendent of the Year in 2021 by Spokane Washington. Received her Doctorate from Harvard. She is applying for the job as a professional challenge.
During her interview she shared some good ideas that have worked in her district. One that we specifically liked was the online forum to elicit family feedback. Parents can "star" other parents responses, allowing the district to track trends or identify problems based on how many stars. She has a similar mission statement in Oregon as we do in WCSD: "Every Student by name and by face...etc." Because we need transformation in our district and better funding....we are hoping she brings enough new perspective to be able to shift this giant districts' current course.
Poised and Competent:
She is poised, knowledgeable and well versed. At the family forums she took the time to visit and shake hands and make eye contact...where other candidates didn't get up out of the chair. She seems like a leader who can manage large amounts of staff and manage schools, staff and students.
Her biggest accomplishment was Restorative Justice practice lowering suspensions. But at what cost to the other students and teachers safety and learning time? Local Washington papers claimed her discipline policies were driving teachers away
She advocated and got full day kindergarten in her district.
When asked about Covid closures, she stated she's not sure that her state did the correct thing, but feels it was based on what she knew at the time. She said she'd be lying if she didn’t communicate with her superintendent friends in states like Texas and Florida who did not close schools and everything was ok, and children suffered mental illness due to closure of schools.
Parents and families are first teachers, so honoring and hearing what they have to say is important and making changes where needed. Handling discipline is complex and not one simple policy will suffice.
When asked about cyber security, she said she didn’t know about data mining and such, but that the privacy of our students is very important, promising more research to educate herself more on this topic. She was very honest when she didn’t have much knowledge on a certain topic.
She stated: “school is not a place for indoctrination”
Commitment to English Language Learners (ELL) program
Believes all curriculum should be public, but the key words are “curriculum”, her own example is SEL, there is only resources, not actual curriculum.
In her district she uses the hashtag #teamkid because she believes in family and staff working together. Serve the student by partnering with families and staff to get the work done.
She uses a lot of leadership coined words like “lean in”, “do the work”
She prefers to say “belonging” over the word “equity”
In her words about leading, “you cannot ask people to follow you if you won’t walk beside them"
She is an advocate for pre-k