School Administrator ran a great profile of John Welch, superintendent of the Highline School District, a complicated and diverse 5 city school district which surrounds SeaTac airport, near Seattle. John was a budget analyst in Tacoma, WA when I hired him as Finance Director, then CFO. John won a national award for a budget that the public could actually understand. Principals trusted him and asked for his advice.
John is a leadership development success story–a guy that knew he wanted to lead and learned everything he could everywhere he could. He participated in the Broad Superintendent Academy and a leadership program at the University of Denver. After I left Federal Way, John spent a few years as a VP at a community college before joining Highline eight years ago as deputy superintendent. His colleagues voted him Superintendent of the Year for his commitment to equity and innovation. He was a Gates grantee and opened Aviation High School and redesigned their traditional high schools.
It’s great to see mid-career professionals like John choosing to lead in education–and doing such a good job.