Dr. Michael Tolley becomes NSD’s new Superintendent

Dr. Michael Tolley becomes NSD’s new Superintendent

On March 17, the school board selected Dr. Michael Tolley (he/him) as Northshore School District’s new superintendent.

There were 27 applicants for NSD’s superintendent position, eight of whom were moved forward for school board consideration. Out of these eight, three people, including Dr. Charles McNulty, Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift and Tolley, were selected as finalists for the position. 

In order to pick the best candidate, the school board carried out a meticulous public engagement process, which included a community forum, interviews with community members, focus groups and surveys. 

In a district press release sent out to all students, school board president Jaqueline McGourty was quoted, saying Tolley is an exceptional leader with a strong track record of working collaboratively with school leaders and staff to improve outcomes for students. 

“He has the vision, skills and experience to support Northshore in realizing our commitments to our students now and into the future. The Board looks forward to supporting him as he leads our district as the next superintendent,” said McGourty. 

When responding to his selection, Tolley said that he is honored to be NSD’s next superintendent. 

“I want to thank the Northshore School Board for their vote of confidence as well as the many individuals that gave their time and valuable feedback during the selection process,” said Tolley.

Tolley has been working in education for over 30 years, previously working as a teacher, school administrator, assistant superintendent, associate superintendent and interim superintendent. Tolley has been serving as NSD’s interim superintendent since Dr. Michelle Reid resigned in 2022. 

While working for NSD, Tolley has strengthened the district’s commitment to equity, as well as racial and educational justice. During a superintendent forum held on March 16, Tolley said he wants to make sure NSD is making a difference for every student. 

“If we can make sure that each and every one of the students receive an excellent education, it changes that narrative for the kid, their family and the entire community.” said Tolley.

Another one of Tolley’s priorities is catering to the emotional needs of students, teachers and parents. Tolley said that when NSD returned to in-person learning, they quickly focused on instruction rather than the social-emotional needs of the community. He hopes to amend that in the future.

“We can’t lose sight of that going forward; we have to do both,” said Tolley. 

As part of this effort, Tolley intends to work on providing more mental health resources to students. He’s started this effort by adding more counselors and mental health services to schools. Even though Tolley has made progress with providing students with support, he recognizes that there should be more to come. 

In order to carry out his plans for the district in years to follow, Tolley wants to work closely with staff, students and parents. 

“As a lifelong educator, I am deeply committed to the success of our community’s children. I look forward to accelerating the great work underway throughout the school district. I am excited to partner with our students and their families, staff and the broader community to ensure each and every student in NSD has the opportunity to pursue and achieve their hopes and dreams, particularly those students furthest away from racial and educational justice,” said Tolley.

Tolley will formally begin as superintendent on July 1, 2023.

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Hope Rasa (she/her), Web-Editor-in-Chief
Senior Hope Rasa is back for her third year on the Nordic News staff as Web-Editor-in-Chief. In her limited spare time, Hope enjoys reading, writing, knitting, needlepoint, hiking, and listening to music. While on Nordic this year, Hope hopes to improve her writing skills, learn more about journalism, and help make this website become the best it can be.

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