Kennewick School Board names next superintendent

A longtime administrator from a school district in a Seattle suburb has been hired to serve as Kennewick School District’s next superintendent.

Traci Pierce will work as deputy superintendent alongside retiring Superintendent Dave Bond, starting July 1. She will then take over the top school district post when Bond retires next year.

The Kennewick School Board selected Pierce during a special meeting on May 30.

Dawn Adams, Kennewick School Board president, said Pierce brings experience as a superintendent in a large, growing district, a record of maintaining a focus on instruction, and a history of building positive, productive, functional relationships. “We look forward to working with her,” she said in a statement.

Pierce spent 24 years in the Lake Washington School District, the third-largest district in the state with about 30,000 students. Kennewick has about 19,000 students.

The two districts have very different demographics, with Lake Washington’s total student enrollment at more than 50 percent white, about 28 percent Asian and about 10 percent Hispanic, according to state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction data from 2017-18.

More than 35 percent of Kennewick’s total student enrollment is Hispanic and 55 percent are white, according to OSPI.

Other differences between the two districts:

 

Kennewick

Lake Washington

 Enrollment

18,950

30,321

 English language learners

15.3%

9.6%

 Low-income

58.1%

11.9%

 Migrant

11.9%

0%

 Students with disabilities

11.4%

11.8%

 Students graduating in four years

76.8%

93.6%

 Students meeting math standards 

42.1%

77.3%

 Students meeting English language   standards

56.5%

83%

Source: Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2017-18

 

Pierce was Lake Washington’s superintendent for six years, leading the district east of Seattle through a period of transformational enrollment growth while also shepherding it through a successful switch to a K-5 elementary, middle school and four-year high school system and overseeing development of a long-term facility strategy and funding plan that led to three successful levy and bond campaigns.

Pierce joined the Lake Washington district as a teacher, and then became an assistant principal, principal, instructional technology coordinator, teaching and learning director, chief schools officer and deputy superintendent before moving into the superintendent post.

Last year, she transitioned to director of college and career readiness.

Pierce holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies and a superintendent certificate from the University of Washington, as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership from City University in Bellevue. 

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve Kennewick students and the community,” Pierce said. “I am honored to be selected and can’t wait to get started working with Mr. Bond and the leadership team.”

She and her husband, Sherman, have been married for almost 27 years.

Doug Christensen, Kennewick School District’s assistant superintendent of human resources, who has worked in the district since 1996, was a finalist for the position. He had previously served as the director of special services, an assistant principal at Kamiakin High, and a teacher at both Kamiakin and Richland high schools.

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