Dear Mercer Island Students and Community,
I am honored to have been selected to serve the Mercer Island School District as superintendent. With over 20 years of experience in public education, I bring a proven commitment to what I hope is the continuation of a successful partnership rooted in my career as a learner, teacher, and leader. I embrace the responsibility of collaborating with the students, staff, parents, and community to fulfill the vision, mission, and goals of the Mercer Island School District. You can expect me to prioritize students, provide leadership, attract and retain committed staff, advocate for the interests of MISD, secure and manage resources, uphold a proud standard for the facilities, proactively communicate, maintain high expectations for learning, and build trust between the school district and surrounding community. I arrived in our school district 14 years ago as the proud principal of Lakeridge Elementary. After leading Lakeridge for four years I spent the next nine years as a director, assistant superintendent to Superintendents Plano and Colosky, and most recently deputy superintendent for Mrs. Colosky. I am energized and humbled to assume the leadership position as the next superintendent.
Prior to coming to Mercer Island School District, I was a principal, assistant principal, high school teacher, and elementary teacher in the Douglas County School District (Highlands Ranch, Colorado). My tenure in Douglas County was preceded by my start in the profession as an elementary teacher in the Colton Joint Unified School District (Southern California). Both districts afforded me tremendous learning opportunities. In 10 years, I taught or led as an administrator in four schools across two districts in two different states. Honestly, when I arrived here in the Mercer Island School District I assumed a similar trajectory would follow; I assumed I would stay about five to six years. What I did not realize at the time was just how much I would learn to love this community. While I live in Issaquah, Mercer Island is very much home.
Even with 13 years of experience in the Mercer Island School District, I still have so much to learn. I am approaching my entry into the superintendency with the intention to honor the past, celebrate the current, and envision an even brighter future. Since being named superintendent by the MISD Board of Education, I have been on a relentless quest to listen and learn from the students, staff, parents, and communities that make up MISD. This has involved meeting with community groups, leaders at the City of Mercer Island, students, teachers, staff, administrators, and families. I liken my start to a “staycation” whereby I am trying to assume less and experience Mercer Island as if I were a tourist.
My family is an integral part of my life and reason for my career path. My wife Dana and I recently celebrated our 21st year of marriage. We have three children. This coming school year, Kallen will be a senior, Mara a sophomore, and Davin a sixth grader. It was much easier to convince the kids to come to work with dad when they were younger and I was still cool in their eyes. Now I am just an out-of-date, dorky dad. You may not see much of our kids, but you will see Dana at some events.
I look forward to my 14th year in our school district and am thrilled to start my tenure as the Mercer Island School District Superintendent.