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Seattle School Board names top three finalists for Superintendent
Candidates to spend next week in Seattle; Board will make final decision in May

April 19, 2012 | Audience: Families, Community, Staff | Contact: Communications, (206) 252-0200

The Seattle School Board on Thursday, April 19, announced three finalists for Superintendent: José L. Banda, Steven W. Enoch and Sandra L. Husk.

The finalists were selected as part of a national search to find the next leader for Seattle Public Schools. The hiring committee selected the three finalists using desired characteristics and traits defined by the community, including: a visionary, inspirational leader; an instructional leader who has a proven track record; a knowledgeable manager and an effective communicator. The full list of traits is outlined online at

The finalists will be in Seattle during the week of April 23 to meet with the School Board and the 25-member Community Focus Group, as well as tour several Seattle schools.

“We are moving forward these strong candidates for the next phase of interviews,” said School Board President Michael DeBell. “We are looking forward to getting to know the candidates better, and finding a leader who is the best fit for our school district.”

A 12-person Search Committee helped narrow the pool of 42 applicants to a group of semi-finalists, who were interviewed by the committee last week. Members of the committee included the Board Directors, and one representative from each of the following: the Seattle Council PTSA, the District’s central administration, the Seattle Education Association (SEA), the Principals’ Association of Seattle Schools (PASS) and Local 609 (the International Union of Operating Engineers).

A 25-person Community Focus Group will meet with each candidate next week and make a recommendation to the School Board. The media will also have an opportunity to interview each of the candidates. The School Board makes the final determination, and expects to offer the position to the top candidate in May.

Mr. Banda will be in Seattle on April 23-24, Mr. Enoch on April 24-25 and Dr. Husk on April 25-26.

The public can offer feedback to the School Board at

More information on the three finalists, in alphabetical order:

José L. Banda, Superintendent, Anaheim City School District

Mr. Banda has spent the past four years as Superintendent of the 20,000-student Anaheim City School District. 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).

Jose BandaUnder Mr. Banda’s direction, the District created a focused approach to instruction, assessment and interventions, while at the same time maintained fiscal solvency during one of the worst economic crises in the state’s history. Mr. Banda also developed strong relationships with the business community, city government and service organizations, as evidenced by an innovative math partnership with the MIND Institute and the successful passage of a $170 million construction bond in 2010.

Mr. Banda spent 13 years as a secondary administrator, including eight years as a high school principal before becoming the Superintendent of the Planada School District from 2002-2005. Before Anaheim, Mr. Banda was the Deputy Superintendent at Oceanside Unified School District. He has also served as a high school counselor, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and board member for Salida Union School District. He brings over 30 years of experience in the field of education.

Mr. Banda is fluent in Spanish and holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University in Bakersfield and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Chapman University.

Steven W. Enoch, Superintendent, San Ramon Valley Unified School District

Mr. Enoch has spent the past four years as the Superintendent of the 30,000-student San Ramon Valley Unified School District. During this time, the District experienced continuous academic improvement, becoming the top-achieving large school district in the state of California.

Steven EnochUnder Mr. Enoch’s leadership, the 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.

Mr. Enoch spent 13 years as a principal in California before becoming the Superintendent of the San Juan Island School District in Friday Harbor, Wash., where he served for seven years. He also served as Superintendent of the Mead, Wash. School District from 2002-2005. Before working in San Ramon, Mr. Enoch was the Superintendent at San Juan Unified School District, a 45,000-student district in Sacramento, Calif.

Mr. Enoch holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of La Verne and a Master’s in School Administration from California State University, Fullerton.
Dr. Sandra L. Husk, Superintendent, Salem-Keizer School District

Dr. Husk has spent the last six years as Superintendent of the 40,000-student Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon. During this time, the District saw significant improvements in student achievement, graduation rate and the drop-out rate.

Sandra HuskUnder 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.

Dr. Husk started her career as an elementary counselor and teacher in the St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado. She has been a Superintendent since 1996, first at Mapleton Public Schools in Denver and then at Clarksville Montgomery County School System in Tennessee from 2001-2006.

Dr. Husk holds a Ph.D. in Administration, Curriculum and Supervision from the University of Colorado, Denver, a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Georgia, Athens.

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