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Jose Banda Is The Choice For Seattle's Next School Superintendent

Lesley McClurg

The race to be the next Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools is over. Yesterday the School Board announced that Jose Banda is their choice. They were considering three finalists. So, how did they narrow it down? KUOW's Lesley McClurg has the story.


The candidates were ticked off the list quickly over the weekend. Friday night Steven Enoch pulled out of the race. He was on the verge of retiring when he was recruited for the job. He says he's simply too old for the gig.

Enoch: "I thought as I looked at everything going on and the challenges, and really the need. I guess what I didn't understand going up maybe was just how needy the district and community seemed to be around needing longer stability with their leader."

Enoch's 63rd birthday is next month.

That left candidates Sandra Husk and Jose Banda. Sunday night the School Board told Banda he was their pick. Even before she heard the news about the District's choice, Sandra Husk dropped out of the race. She said she saw competing approaches about where to take the district and that concerned her.

Jose Banda says competing ideas are to be expected.

Banda: "It wouldn't surprise me if some of them have different views or differing views. But it's really about building that strong governance team and make sure that when we come together we are working together on behalf of Seattle Public Schools and the children."

Seattle School Board Director Marty McLaren spoke at a press conference yesterday. She says we shouldn't expect any big moves from Banda. At least not in his first year.

McLaren: "His first order of business will be to establish relationships and listen and come to understand our district and he will not be making big changes to begin with."

Banda is currently the superintendent of the Anaheim City School District. He's in charge of 26 schools. Seattle has 91. But, he says he's ready for the job.

Banda: "You know I just come in with high expectations and accountability for everyone, for myself included. And so we are going to set the bar high for our student at all levels. And make sure that all students in the Seattle public school system have access and opportunity to success."

The School Board is scheduled to make a formal offer tomorrow. The terms of the contract will be ironed out if Banda agrees to the offer. If it all goes smoothly, he'll start work in July.

For KUOW News, I'm Lesley McClurg.

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