Following an extensive community engagement process, the Highline School Board of Directors on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 named the following three individuals as finalists for the role of new superintendent for Highline Public Schools.

The finalists are:

    • Dr. Concie Pedroza

    • Dr. Keisha Scarlett

    • Dr. Ivan Duran

“Through our community process, Highline Public Schools community members laid out high expectations for our next superintendent,” said School Board President Aaron Garcia. “These highly qualified candidates are a result of that community process and each of them reflects the qualifications and characteristics our constituents told us they value.”

Dr. Concie Pedroza

Three finalists named for role of new superintendent of Highline Public Schools 1Dr. Concie Pedroza began her career as a classroom teacher and later served as an elementary, K-8 and high school principal. She currently serves as the associate superintendent for Seattle Public Schools—the largest district in Washington state— where she oversees schools, academics, student services and African American male achievement.

Dr. Pedroza is committed to advancing inclusionary and culturally responsive practices for all students. Under her leadership as principal, Orca K-8 in Seattle Public Schools earned three consecutive School of Distinction awards for student growth. She was later selected as the first principal of Seattle World School, supporting immigrant and refugee students representing over 35 languages. She is a former leadership coach, supporting the professional growth of school leaders. As the director of racial equity, she oversaw professional development for anti-racism  practices at all levels of the system.

Dr. Pedroza served on several OSPI work groups, including Bilingual ESSA and Reopening Schools Washington, and she served as chair of the Bilingual Education Advisory Committee. Dr. Pedroza earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington. She is a first-generation college graduate and is dedicated to supporting systems where student identity is an integral part of the academic journey.

Dr. Keisha Scarlett

Three finalists named for role of new superintendent of Highline Public Schools 2Dr. Keisha Scarlett is chief academic officer for Seattle Public Schools and formerly served as chief of equity, partnerships and engagement. Dr. Scarlett has dedicated her career to advocating for academic opportunities and environments that tap into students’ inherent brilliance, particularly those furthest from educational justice. Her vast leadership experiences range from an early career in the STEM field to teacher, principal and numerous central office leadership positions in Seattle Public Schools. In 2014, Keisha Scarlett was named the Washington State Middle-Level Principal of the Year.

One of Dr. Scarlett’s proudest accomplishments was the launch of the Academy for Rising Educators (ARE) in 2019. ARE is a tuition-free educator preparation pathway program developed in partnership with the City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning and Seattle Central College to diversify the workforce, serving more than 250 aspiring teachers of color across three cohorts with a 90 percent retention rate.

Dr. Scarlett is a multigenerational resident of Seattle. She and her husband are the parents of three adult children. Dr. Scarlett holds a doctorate in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington. She is also a proud graduate of Clark Atlanta University, a historically Black college.

Dr. Ivan Duran

Three finalists named for role of new superintendent of Highline Public Schools 3Dr. Ivan Duran is a proud product of public education. An early passion for reading and learning sparked his interest in being an educator. He has served more than 30 years in public education and is currently chief of acceleration and recovery for the Renton School District.

From 2017 to 2021, Dr. Duran was superintendent of the Bellevue School District. As superintendent, he led with a focus on racial equity and inclusion, creating integrated systems to support academic, social-emotional and behavior development for all students. Guided by a clear vision, mission, value system, strategic plan and student experiences, he helped refine the district’s strategies to make a positive difference in each student’s life. Prior to Bellevue, he was deputy superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District and assistant superintendent for elementary education at Denver Public Schools. He has also served as a classroom teacher, principal and director of instructional technology.

Dr. Duran’s core values include a commitment to educational equity, continuous improvement and collaborative, transparent leadership.

Dr. Duran and his wife Dr. Kelly Kovacic Duran share a passion for leading equity in education, raising two bilingual boys (Mateo and Joaquín), and exploring the great outdoors.

Finalists’ Town Halls and Feedback Forms
Each finalist will spend a day in Highline touring schools, meeting with stakeholder groups, and engaging in an online Town Hall. At the end of each town hall, the community will immediately have an opportunity to provide feedback on the finalists through an online form.

The Board encourages everyone to watch all the finalists’ Town Halls and submit their feedback via an online tool.

    • Town Hall with Dr. Concie Pedroza
      Monday, Feb. 14: 6:15-7:00 p.m.
    • Town Hall with Dr. Keisha Scarlett
      Tuesday, Feb. 15: 6:15-7:00 p.m.
    • Town Hall with Dr. Ivan Duran
      Thursday, Feb. 17: 6:15-7:00 p.m.

The questions to be asked of the candidates at the town halls are pre-selected. Some of the questions were generated through a community-wide ThoughtExchange. Student moderators will emcee the town halls and ask the questions.

To watch the town hall, visit the Highline website at: highlineschools.org/townhalls

To provide feedback on the finalists, visit the Highline website at: highlineschools.org/feedback

The School Board anticipates appointing a superintendent following the finalists visits.

The new superintendent will begin on July 1, 2022.