Interim Edmonds SD superintendent outlines priorities for upcoming school year

Dr. Rebecca Miner

The Edmonds School District will be welcoming interim superintendent Dr. Rebecca Miner on July 1, and the new superintendent shared her priorities during an interview with MLTnews earlier this week.

Miner’s appointment came after current Superintendent Dr. Gustavo Balders announced he would be leaving the district to accept a position with the Beaverton School District in Oregon. Miner’s position as interim will give the district a year to conduct a nationwide search for a permanent superintendent.

Miner said she is excited to continue the work that Balderas started. Her top four priorities are: continuing to construct a strategic plan for the district, promoting equity in the schools, helping provide for students’ social and mental needs and upholding the importance of teaching and learning.

“I’m also looking forward to getting to know [and] becoming part of the community, getting to know our schools and as many families and staff members as I can,” Miner said.

Miner said she loves seeing the hard work of teaching paying off and is planning to attend as many school events as possible, as well as visiting many classrooms in the district to interact with and watch students learn.

“Being able to see the continuum of student experiences and the way that that shapes and supports students, those are the things that really bring me joy,” she said.

While the Edmonds School District has many strengths, Miner said, there are still weaknesses that the district will need to face head on in the coming year.

“The challenges we face, I think, are the challenges all K-12 public education [is facing right now],” she said.

The interim superintendent plans to focus on how to better treat students’ mental health, as well as address a multitude of safety concerns following the school shootings that occurred in the U.S. during the 2021-22 school year.

Despite the trials that may arise, Miner said she is excited to get busy and hopes her prior superintendent experience can help her excel in the Edmonds School District.

Miner was superintendent of the Shoreline School District for seven years. Prior to that, she spent three years at the White Pass School District.

“I’ve learned that not everyone is going to be happy with my decisions, and that’s a big challenge,” she said. “But I also think [we should] communicate as well as we can about why those decisions were made and respond to people’s concerns; I hope that is something that I can bring with me to this position.”

Miner plans to be transparent and easily accessible to staff and parents from every school in the district so she can address concerns quickly and efficiently. She also hopes that individuals are not deterred from talking to her because of her title, and prefers people address her as Rebecca when speaking.

While Miner is unsure if she will be a candidate for the permanent superintendent position, she is excited to continue her career with public schools in any capacity.

“My long-term goal is to be in places where I can make a difference for staff, students and families in public education,” she said. “And I don’t know what that path will be, but that’s my plan to play out the rest of my career.”

When she isn’t working toward bettering the public school system, Miner enjoys knitting and taking long walks or going for hikes. Last summer, she hiked 390 miles of the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain.

Miner also plans to be visible in the community and said she will have a booth at an upcoming Edmonds summer market to engage with residents in a more casual way. She encourages staff, students, parents and community members to feel free to introduce themselves and talk to her whenever they see her.

–By Lauren Reichenbach

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