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.


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