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LWSD Hires Pierce as New Superintendent

Pierce was identified earlier as the district's top candidate to replace outgoing superintendent Dr. Chip Kimball.

At its Feb. 27 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Lake Washington School District unanimously voted to hire Dr. Traci Pierce, the district’s deputy superintendent, instructional services, as the district’s new superintendent. Pending the negotiation of a contract, she will replace the departing Dr. Chip Kimball, who becomes superintendent of the Singapore American School on July 1.

Board Member Doug Eglington stressed the need for continuity at this time, advocating for a qualified internal candidate. He noted, “The time it would take to get a new superintendent in place, familiar with our culture and really able to demonstrate their ability to lead our district is time we can ill afford.”

Board Vice President Nancy Bernard agreed with the need for continuity, noting, “She will not only keep us on track but will bring her own touch to it and bring us even beyond.”

Board Member Siri Bliesner noted, “I was pleased to hear her (Pierce) describe her leadership style as one of inclusion and collaboration. She recognizes the importance of public, transparent processes that engage the public early on.”

Board President Jackie Pendergrass noted that in attending the public events introducing Pierce, at each event she was impressed with “her intelligence, caring, charisma, willingness to listen, and the image she portrays for the school district. 

Pierce thanked the board for their kind words and their confidence. She noted her “commitment to the district mission and vision, to serving ethically, honestly and collaboratively for the betterment of the community and our students.”

Kimball expressed that leaving the district after 16 years was bittersweet, thanking the board and staff. He pledged to work with Pierce to ensure a smooth transition.

Pierce has worked in Lake Washington School District since 1994. She taught Language Arts and Social Studies at Inglewood Junior High. After five years in the classroom, she served as Inglewood assistant principal for two years and then was promoted to principal.

Pierce returned to the central office to serve in several instructional leadership positions before she was named chief schools officer in July 2007. Dr. Pierce has served as deputy superintendent, instructional services, since July 2010.

Pierce is a graduate of the University of Washington, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She earned her principal certification and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership at City University. She returned to the University of Washington to earn her superintendent’s credential and her Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

—Information from the Lake Washington School District

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