April 26, 2022
Chiefs for Change Member Susan Enfield Selected as Superintendent of Washoe County School District

The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Susan Enfield, a member of Chiefs for Change, as the district’s next superintendent. With approximately 62,000 students across more than 100 schools, Washoe County School District is the second-largest district in Nevada. It serves the city of Reno and a county that is larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Dr. Enfield is currently superintendent of Highline Public Schools near Seattle, Washington. Under her leadership, the district has worked to fulfill its promise to know every student by name, strength, and need so they graduate bilingual, biliterate, and with the problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for the future they choose. Highline has achieved considerable gains in academic performance during Dr. Enfield’s decade-long tenure. The percentage of students graduating in four years increased from 62 percent in 2013 to 83 percent in 2020, and more students have access to Advanced Placement courses. In addition, the district has worked to ensure every child has highly effective teachers, has made substantial investments in early childhood education, has significantly reduced out-of-school suspensions, and has implemented new social and emotional supports to meet the needs of students and staff.

Dr. Enfield is a listener and a highly collaborative leader who has a long track record of working closely with the community to tackle difficult issues and learn from the lived experience of students, families, and educators. Equity is at the heart of the strategic plan she and Highline created to ensure every child, from every background, gets an excellent education that meets their unique needs in a school where they are safe, welcome, and respected. A national leader in the field, Dr. Enfield is a mentor to her peers and has spoken extensively about effective K-12 leadership, supporting student learning and wellbeing amid the pandemic, and the urgent need to permanently close the digital divide.

Dr. Enfield began her career as an English teacher in Silicon Valley. She later served as chief academic officer and interim superintendent for Seattle Public Schools before joining Highline in 2012. Her experience also includes leadership positions in Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Washington; Portland Public Schools in Oregon; and at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In 2021, she was named Washington State Superintendent of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators, and in 2018, she was selected as Superintendent of the Year by the National School Foundation Association.

Dr. Enfield is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and earned master’s degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University. She also holds a doctoral degree in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard’s Urban Superintendents Program.