Enfield to make $220,000 per year as Highline superintendent

By Eric Mathison
Susan Enfield won’t have to take that much of a salary cut to move from the state’s largest school district to become Highline’s new superintendent July 1.

The Highline School Board Wednesday, March 13 voted unanimously to adopt Enfield’s three-year contract with an annual salary of $220,000.

The Seattle Times has reported that Seattle and Bellevue pay their superintendents about $225,000 a year. Enfield became a serious candidate for the Bellevue top job after indicating she was not interesting in moving from the interim superintendent to the permanent position in Seattle, the state’s largest school district.

Highline and Bellevue both enroll about 18,000 students.

Enfield will be making a larger salary than her predecessor, John Welch. The Seattle Times reported Welch was earning an annual salary of $186,000. Welch left the district in June to become superintendent of the Puget Sound Educational Service District, headquartered in Renton.

Highline spokeswoman Catherine Carbone Rogers emphasized that Enfield agreed to some reductions in non-salary compensation that were part of Welch’s contract package.

Rogers noted the board considered superintendent compensation in districts that are comparable to Highline, as well as Dr. Enfield’s experience and current contract.

Board president Angelica Alvarez, who headed the superintendent search, commented at the board meeting, “We are delighted to bring Dr. Enfield to the Highline School District.”
Alvarez said the search helped her get closer to her fellow board members.
“It was a long process but an amazing process,” Alvarez concluded.

The board president sparked some laughter when she inadvertently skipped over the superintendent contract item when reading the consent agenda into the record.
After the meeting, Rogers noted that superintendent transactions are costly in terms of money spent on the search, staff time and momentum toward the district’s goals.

“Hiring the right person who is committed to staying in the community shows good stewardship of the district’s resources,” Rogers wrote in an email. “The board is very confident she is the right person for the job. The salary reflects the board’s high expectations for the results she will achieve for Highline.

Enfield attended the board meeting and heard reports on the district’s equity assessment and budget.

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