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    Central Office School Leadership Positions Filled
    Posted on 09/09/2020

    Central Office School Leadership Positions Filled

    School leadership matters and is second only to teaching in its school-related impact on student learning. The role of directors of schools is critical in developing and supporting principals, with a focus on high-quality instruction and instructional leadership. The directors of schools are essential in providing direct support of principals to improve their instructional leadership skills and practices in order to impact the quality of teaching and ultimately impact student learning.

    Seattle Public Schools is excited to announce that four directors of school join SPS leadership to begin the 2020-21 school year. The director of schools position is critical to student and staff success.

    Directors of schools focus on school improvement, accountability, principal performance, and work to effectively engage the communities of their schools – vitally important during a remote instructional setting. Directors of schools are responsible for the evaluation, supervision, coaching, and learning support of principals.

    Directors of schools will be assigned by grade level to cohorts of similar schools. There will be five elementary/K8 directors and three secondary (middle school/high school) directors.

    The directors were selected through a rigorous interview process that included both PASS (Principal Association of Seattle Schools) and central office leadership. Interview team members were impressed with the candidates' leadership experience as principals and their work in their respective central offices.

    All of these incoming leaders are committed to the shared values of our strategic plan, Seattle Excellence, and are excited to be part of a team whose priority is to support school principals' instructional leadership in service of student learning, which is embedded in our director of schools job description: school improvement, accountability, improving principal practice, and leadership at central office.

    The newly hired directors of schools will join directors Heather Eberts, Tony Ruby, Dr. Sarah Pritchett, and Jon Halfaker, under the direct supervision and support of Dr. Mike Starosky.

    Chris Carter is returning to SPS from his most recent experience serving as a learning improvement officer in Federal Way Public Schools. In this role, Mr. Carter supervised principals (K-12) and supported their leadership in their schools, meeting both school and district goals. Previously, Chris worked in Seattle Public Schools for over 10 years with experience as a principal and middle school teacher. Mr. Carter is excited to return to SPS to both lead and partner in our work toward ensuring positive outcomes for all students.

    Tim Moynihan's most recent role in SPS has been serving as a principal leadership coach for the last two years. Mr. Moynihan has helped mentor numerous novice principals and has provided leadership and professional development for both school leaders and central office leadership. Tim has a long commitment to SPS having served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in SPS. His dedication to improving and supporting the instructional expertise of our school leaders in service of improving outcomes for all students is unquestioned.

    Dr. James Mercer, Jr. joins Seattle Public Schools after recently completing his doctoral residency with the Clark County School District in Nevada. During his time in Clark County, he developed and implemented an intensive professional development course designed to support current assistant principals in cultivating their leadership skills to retain top talent in the district. Dr. Mercer has been a school leader focused on improving outcomes for students through strong systems of personalized learning, positive behavior interventions, and amplifying student voice. As a Harvard University teaching fellow, Dr. Mercer also has deep experience shaping improvements for classrooms and districts through data-informed practice, intensive collaboration at all levels of the system, and creating inclusive cultures.

    Dr. Rocky Torres brings his experience leading the elementary division at The Evergreen School in Shoreline to SPS, including creating remote learning plans and improvements to the admissions process to support equitable access. Dr. Torres' teaching and leadership career has been dedicated to serving in school districts in New York City and his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Torres also held school leadership positions in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District with extensive experience with second language learners, bilingual education, diverse learners including highly capable education and programming, and special education coordination.

    Please join us in formally welcoming these new directors of schools in their new, highly valuable roles in helping us to carry out the vision of our strategic plan.

    See the list of school assignments for the director or schools.