Nine months ago Seattle Public Schools officials were forced to find some poor sap to fill the superintendent job after the previous one fled in shame in the wake of a massive financial scandal. Now the poor sap they found wants out too.
Susan Enfield, the SPS interim superintendent, just announced that she doesn't want the supe job and won't take it even if the district asks her to.
While I am proud of what we have accomplished together, today I am announcing my decision to neither seek nor accept the permanent position of superintendent after my contract ends in June. This was not an easy decision for me to make given my commitment to Seattle and to our students. I wish the school board well in their search for a new superintendent, and will work with the new appointee to ensure a smooth transition for our staff, students and families. It is my sincere hope that the board will continue to build on our successes to date and continue the momentum we have built. I believe strongly that losing this momentum would be a disservice to our students and staff.
Enfield had replaced Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who was fired after details of a scandal involving misused money and unperformed work were released. Enfield, by nearly all accounts, was imminently qualified for the job and well liked and respected by the school board.
Many thought she would seek the job on a permanent basis.
Enfield's bowing out forces the district to do a national search for a new superintendent, which is something that the Seattle Education Association (teachers union) had fought strongly against, on the basis that such searches can be costly and take a long time.
Olga Addae, president of the SEA, didn't mince words about her disappointment in Enfield's decision. Speaking to The Seattle Times, she called the decision "so disrespectful it's pathetic."
"I think this idea of having her come clean up the mess and saying, 'Well, hey, we're going to open this up, you can apply.' Really what are we saying?"