Dr. Reid designated Washington’s Superintendent of the Year


Margaret He

This year, NSD Superintendent Michelle Reid was honored as Washington’s Superintendent of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators. Art by Margaret He.

Margaret He, Co-Editor-in-Chief

On Nov. 18, Northshore School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid was named Washington’s 2021 Superintendent of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators. Reid will continue on to compete as a candidate for the American Association of School Administrators’ National Superintendent of the Year Award for 2021 and will receive $1,000 for use toward an educational program. Last year, Dr. Reid also received the Washington State PTA’s Outstanding Educator Award for her work towards equity and social justice. 

In 2016, after a national search, Dr. Reid was unanimously selected as Northshore’s superintendent by the NSD Board of Directors. In her first year as superintendent, she oversaw three major initiatives, including boundary shifts to rebalance school populations, the opening of North Creek High School, and trade talks with teacher and support staff unions. 

Since then, Dr. Reid has worked on addressing equity issues around the district through her 5-year Strategic Plan. The plan’s four pillars are equitable access to personalized and culturally responsive education, a safe climate and strong community relationships, results-focused training and support for staff, and a data-informed and need-based system of resource distribution. This plan ultimately aims to provide an equal and well-rounded education for students at all levels that will prepare them for success beyond high school. 

South Region Assistant Superintendent Heather Miller said that Dr. Reid’s strong leadership traits and skills made her very deserving of the award. 

“As I aspire in my career journey, I have learned so much [from Dr. Reid]  about what it means to be a true leader that leads by their convictions and doesn’t waver from that. I think that’s been very powerful for me,” Miller said. 

Inglemoor Principal Adam Desautels said that in addition to her positive influence on his own leadership, he feels that Dr. Reid’s work has also benefited Inglemoor as a whole. 

“Dr. Reid is very clear that she is focused on what’s best for kids, our staff, our families, and community,” he said. “Her leadership reflects that, and it works well with my focus of what’s best for kids as well.”

In her weekly blog post, Dr. Reid said that she is currently monitoring the status of COVID-19 and the progress of the virus in order to shift Northshore’s online learning model accordingly. Miller said that Dr. Reid’s response to the pandemic reflects her strength as a leader and staunch belief that the health and safety of people should be the paramount issue. 

“She has a true moral compass that she leads, follows and lives by. Decisions are not made, haphazardly, if you will,” Miller said. “Decisions are made with a very clear set of values and beliefs that she states and lives by. She’s very calm and steady – very clear… There’s a very true integrity [and] true allegiance to her values and beliefs.”

Desautels said that Dr. Reid’s response and initiatives regarding online learning amidst the pandemic this past year, in particular, stood out to him as noteworthy and representative of her skillful leadership. 

“I believe it took incredible courage to move to online learning last March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She saw what needed to be done, and despite the fact that it may not have been popular with everyone, [it] made us the first district in the country to halt in-person school,” Desautels said. “That’s not a popular decision, but she made it with everyone’s health and safety at the forefront. I find myself grateful to work in this district because we have a leader that had the courage to do what she did.”

Dr. Reid accepted the award by acknowledging the central role of the Northshore community. She said that her acceptance recognizes the work of each student, the school board, and the staff, before concluding with her trademark motto. 

“The Superintendent of the Year award for the state of Washington is bigger than just me. It represents everyone in our community who has walked beside me every step of the way,” Dr. Reid said. “This award recognizes the work of each of our curious and hard-working students, our inspiring and innovative staff, our visionary school board, our generous community partners, and our thoughtfully engaged families who call our Northshore School District home. I am proud of what we have accomplished together and look forward to continuing our work toward a system that is based on social and educational justice and excellence for all students… I am deeply honored to accept this award on behalf of all the dedicated educational leaders in our state and want to remind us that together, all things are possible.”