Renton Schools Superintendent Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel will leave the district at the beginning of next year to become Gov.-Elect Jay Inslee's chief of staff..
Governor-elect Jay Inslee named Heuschel to the position Thursday morinng during a press briefing in Seattle.
Inslee will be sworn into office on January 16, 2013.
In a message announcing her new position to school district staff, Superintendent Heuschel said that not many opportunities would entice her to leave her colleagues in Renton and the excellent work being done to improve student achievement; but, the call to serve at the state level provides her an enormous opportunity to lead, impact public education and to help reform state government. Additionally, she said, she accepted the position, “with equal parts profound sadness and heart-pounding excitement with a small measure of high anxiety thrown in.”
Heuschel has served as Renton Schools superintendent since July 1, 2006. Prior to her work with the Renton School District, she was the Deputy State Superintendent for the Washington State Department of Education, worked in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for six years, was a school principal in the Yelm School District, an assessment specialist in the education department in Hawaii, and taught at West Point Military Academy and in Department of Defense schools in Europe, according to her biography on the Renton School District web site. She also worked as a special education teacher.
In addition to her duties as superintendent, Heuschel is also a bit of a "Community Rockstar." Last year she appeared on a King 5 Evening Magazine segment called "makeover Monday."
In 2011 she ran for a position on the Public Hospital District Board of Commissioners at VMC, but lost to Dr. Paul Joos.
District staff are working to prepare a transition plan for the School Board that includes selecting an interim superintendent and hiring a search firm to solicit applications for a new superintendent.
“We have an exceptional team already in place to support an interim arrangement,” said Superintendent Heuschel, “district staff will work quickly to assist the School
Board in their work to find the right new superintendent to take this office.”