Lake Washington School District Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce announced today her plans to step out of the role of superintendent and into a different role within the organization.
“I am very proud of what we have accomplished together over these past six years. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as superintendent,” Pierce said in a message to district staff and families. “I am grateful for the talented and dedicated team of professional educators who work in this district. I truly love this district and the work that we do, and I am excited to continue to serve the district in a new role as I enter the next season of my career. As a lifelong educator, I am very passionate about fulfilling our district vision of ‘Every Student Future Ready’. By assuming the role of Director, College and Career Readiness, I will be able to focus all my time, talent and energy on helping every single student reach this vision. I look forward to continuing to develop district systems for engaging students in Career and Technical Education and WANIC coursework; in building opportunities for internships and externships for students; and in continuing to cultivate relationships with community and business partners to benefit our students.”
Pierce was named superintendent in 2012. During her tenure, Lake Washington School District enrollment grew to over 29,500 students and is now the third largest district in Washington state. Pierce led the district through a successful transition to K-5 elementary, 6-8 middle school, and four-year high school system. The district’s graduation rate climbed to an all-time high of 93 percent, the highest amongst large districts in the state.
She worked with the Board and community to develop a strategic plan with goals and academic targets and championed equity-focused efforts to close achievement and opportunity gaps for students. She oversaw the development of a long-term facility strategy and funding plan, resulting in passage of levies in 2014 and 2018 and a bond in 2016. As a result, eight school construction projects are now underway including two new elementary schools, a new middle school, and the rebuilding and enlarging of Juanita High School.
Under Pierce’s leadership, the district’s bond credit rating was upgraded to Moody’s elite “Aaa” rating, and the district was just awarded the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International for their preparation of an accessible and accurate budget to build trust and clear communication with stakeholders.
“During her tenure as superintendent, Dr. Pierce led long-term systemwide improvements that will have lasting positive effects for Lake Washington,” said Siri Bliesner, Lake Washington School District Board president. “She is an excellent educational leader who serves, and will continue to serve, students, staff, and community with integrity, thoughtfulness, and commitment to seeing every student succeed.”
Pierce joined the district in 1994, and has served as a teacher, principal, director, associate superintendent, deputy superintendent, and superintendent.
“I look forward to continuing my service to Lake Washington School District, to supporting a new superintendent as he or she assumes the role, and to continuing to work to serve students and ensure they graduate Future Ready,” Pierce said.
In addition to her responsibilities as superintendent, Pierce serves on the Sammamish Family YMCA Board, the Kirkland Performance Center Board, and the OneRedmond Board. She is past-president, Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) Region 110 and was recently invited to participate in the “Influential Women of Washington State” series sponsored by Bellevue College.
The change in leadership will take effect July 1. Lake Washington School District’s Board of Directors is beginning the process to identify a new superintendent, and in the weeks ahead the Board will be providing updates to the community.