Early K-12 COVID responder wins superintendent of the year

'Leadership is illuminated when there is no clear roadmap to a solution,' Michelle Reid says
By: | February 18, 2021
AASA also noted Michelle Reid’s accomplishments in instructional leadership and training other K-12 administrators in naming her superintendent of the year on Thursday.AASA also noted Michelle Reid’s accomplishments in instructional leadership and training other K-12 administrators in naming her superintendent of the year on Thursday.

Michelle Reid, leader of the Northshore School District in Bothell, Washington, and one of the first administrators to grapple with COVID in early 2020, was named the 2021 AASA National Superintendent of the Year Thursday.

In early March 2020, Reid shifted the Seattle-area district to online learning after a parent volunteer tested positive for the COVID when the virus first began spreading on the West Coast.

AASA, the School Superintendents Association, also noted Reid’s accomplishments in instructional leadership, particularly in STEM, and training other K-12 administrators.

“This has been powerful affirmation of the strength of our community. It validates the work of so many,” Reid said in a statement. “Leadership is illuminated when there is no clear roadmap to a solution.”


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The three other National Superintendent of the Year finalists were Bryan Johnson of Hamilton County Schools in Tennessee,  Khalid Mumin of the Reading School District in Pennsylvania, and Christy Perry, Salem-Keizer Public Schools in Oregon.

Reid previously served as superintendent of South Kitsap School District in Port Orchard, Washington. Before that, she was a deputy superintendent, district athletic director and high school principal in the Port Angeles School District.

Reid has been a conference keynote presenter as well as a leadership facilitator at the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership and the Harvard Institute for School Leadership.

“Despite the uncertainties our school systems are facing caused by the global pandemic, Michelle and the other three finalists are empowering their students to lead us into a better world.” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA.


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Superintendent of the Year candidates are measured against the following criteria:

  • Leadership for learning, and creativity in meeting the needs of students
  • Communication
  • Professionalism, including constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills motivation to others on the education team; and
  • Community involvement

A $10,000 college scholarship will be given in Reid’s honor to a student in the high school from which she graduated.