Northshore School District (NSD) Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid was the featured speaker at the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce’s May luncheon.
Reid is 10 months into her position as NSD’s superintendent and she said she has been embraced by the community.
“It’s a very large school district that still manages to feel small,” she said. “In many ways, it’s a family, which is not the norm.”
She highlighted a variety of initiatives that are both new and ongoing throughout the district, from setting aside time in the school day for social and emotional learning to shifting grade levels at the district’s schools.
“The kids are ready, but I know the parents are nervous,” Reid said of the new breakdown, which keeps students in kindergarten through fifth grade in elementary schools, puts sixth through eighth graders in the middle schools (now known as junior highs) and has students in ninth through 12th grades at the high schools.
The district and the Northshore School Board are also in the middle of a strategic planning process that will set forward specific goals for the NSD over the next three to five years.
“If we have a plan, we’re able to be more strategic and focused,” Reid said, adding that the plan will go before the board in June.
She also discussed the changing demographics in the district, saying that 80 percent of students were white 10 years ago, and that number has fallen to 60.
“We consider that a tremendous strength in the district,” Reid said, adding that there are 94 different home languages spoken in NSD.
In addition to talking about the district, Reid discussed her background, including her time as an alternative high school principal in Port Angeles and her early science-related jobs. In one of her jobs in college, she was a microvascular surgical technician, where she prepped rats for surgery and sutured them after surgery. When one rat went into cardiac arrest, Reid performed CPR to save its life.
The chamber also presented its annual $1,000 scholarship to Secondary Academy for Success student Dustin Lewis.
“I want to thank everyone for coming here and supporting our community and the youth within it,” Lewis said at the luncheon. “I will show you that your investment is not misplaced.”
He will be attending Cascadia College in Bothell in the fall to start his education to become a youth therapist.
“He’s described by the SAS staff as super resilient,” Maurita Colburn, chamber member and community relations manager, said. “One staff member said, ‘I wish everyone was Dustin.’”
Cascadia President Eric Murray, who served as the emcee for the chamber luncheon, seemed to be impressed with Lewis’ story.
“You are going to succeed,” Murray told Lewis.
Colburn said the selection committee interviewed four very qualified candidates for the scholarship, making the decision to award Lewis with the scholarship difficult.
This is the ninth year the chamber has awarded a scholarship to an SAS student, and for the 10th year in 2018, the chamber wants to raise enough funds to award two scholarships. The money for the scholarship is donated by chamber members outside of their regular membership fees.
“We are trying to do more than one,” J.D. Davis, the chamber’s scholarship representative, said.
For more information about NSD or SAS, visit nsd.org. For more information about the chamber, visit bothellchamber.com.