A teary farewell to Seattle schools chief

Jun 7, 2012

It wasn’t on the school board agenda, but members of Susan Enfield’s cabinet paid her a surprise tribute during her final school board meeting Wednesday. Enfield is leaving Seattle Public Schools this month after 16 months as interim superintendent.

Enfield wiped away tears as a string of her deputies praised her, beginning with Enfield’s number-two, Interim Deputy Superintendent Bob Boesche.

“So my word is motivator. There wasn’t a meeting ever, an encounter ever with you, where I didn’t walk out [feeling] motivated to do my best,” Boesche said.

Enfield said she was deeply touched and honored by the emotional farewell, which included warm remarks by board members. She also gave a parting plea on behalf of her replacement, Jose Banda. She said any new superintendent is sure to encounter scrutiny and even criticism.

“I just hope that everyone remembers that he and the staff here come every day doing the best they can for our students. And when you deliver that scrutiny, or share the areas where we know we can improve – and we know we have plenty of areas to improve – that you share that scrutiny with a touch of gentleness, good humor and understudying,” Enfield said. 

Susan Enfield will start her new job as superintendent of the Highline School District on July 1st, the same day Jose Banda takes over in Seattle.