Denise Juneau, Montana’s former state schools superintendent, will be the next superintendent of Seattle public schools.
The Seattle school board voted unanimously on Wednesday to hire Juneau, who served as Montana’s state superintendent for two terms, from 2008 to 2016. That’s when she left to run
for a U.S. House seat, losing the race to the Republican incumbent, Ryan Zinke, who is now secretary of the interior.
In an October 2016 profile of that congressional race, my colleague Andrew Ujifusa wrote about Juneau attending schools on the Blackfeet reservation in Browning, Mont., as the daughter of educators.
“My story actually takes me from Head Start to Harvard, and from teaching in a classroom in Browning to leading Montana’s public schools,” she said during a debate that year. Juneau received a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and she taught in Montana and North Dakota.
Pending successful contract negotiations in Seattle, Juneau will serve as the city’s third superintendent in six years and the first Native American superintendent in the city’s history. Less than one percent of students in the district are Native American.
The board tentatively plans to approve her contract on April 25.
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Image Credit: Seattle Public Schools
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.