BREAKING: Highline Schools Superintendent Welch Leaving For New Job

BREAKING: On Thursday (March 17th), Highline Public Schools Superintendent John Welch sent out a letter of resignation, announcing that he has “decided to accept the position of Superintendent of Puget Sound Educational Service District.”

Welch has served as Highline Public Schools’ Superintendent since July, 2005.

“Puget Sound Educational Service District (ESD) #121 is one of nine regional educational agencies serving school districts and state-approved private schools in Washington state,” reads the ESD website. “ESDs function primarily as support agencies and deliver educational services that can be more efficiently or economically performed regionally.”

Puget Sound ESD develops and delivers a wide selection of services that provide instructional and administrative support to PreK-12 schools and direct service to students and families.

No news yet on Highline School’s search for a replacement for Welch, but stay tuned as we’ll be posting news soon.

Here’s his letter that was sent out via email to the leadership team in the district which included all principals:

After much consideration, I have decided to accept the position of Superintendent of Puget Sound Educational Service District. This new position presents an opportunity for me to pursue the improvement of public education at a regional level.

I will continue as Highline’s superintendent through the end of this school year. The school board is in the process of developing a transition plan and timeline for a superintendent search. We will share the plan with you in the next couple of weeks.

It has been a privilege to work with each of you. We have struggled together with important issues, and we have made some significant strides together for the benefit of our students. I am grateful for the leadership and passion each one of you brings to your work and for the impact you have had on my professional growth and my leadership. While I look forward to the new challenge before me, I will miss Highline.

I ask you to embrace this change as an opportunity for Highline as well. I am committed to a smooth transition to a new leader. We will keep you informed as the school board develops next steps.

– John Welch

According to Welch’s bio on the HSD website:

Among his accomplishments at Highline are implementation of a new accountability system and the creation of system-wide performance measures.

Under Mr. Welch’s leadership, Highline’s on-time graduation rate has increased by 6%, extended graduation rate by 8%, and the number of students graduating with a university-eligible transcript has improved 15 percentage points.

In 2007, Mr. Welch was named “Most Effective Administrator” by the Washington Association of School Administrators.

Mr. Welch previously served as Highline’s Deputy Superintendent, as Vice President for Administrative Services at South Seattle Community College, and Chief Financial Officer for Federal Way Public Schools.

Mr. Welch earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Washington University and his MBA from Pacific Lutheran University. His post-graduate studies include leadership programs at the University of Denver, Stanford, and Harvard. He is a graduate of the Broad Center Superintendent’s Academy.

John and his wife Lisa have two daughters who attend Highline Public Schools.

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