San Juan Islands School District Superintendent discusses her job search, progress in the district | Guest Column

Submitted by Danna Diaz

San Juan Island School District Superintendent

This letter is to provide meaning as to why I am looking to leave the San Juan Island School District. I have reached a time in my life that I feel the need for a change both personally and professionally. I am looking for a new challenge in a district that aligns with my strengths. I am selective about my applications and would be pleased to continue as your superintendent if the right job isn’t available. I will continue to work for the students and families in our community to the very best of my ability by focusing on the district’s shared vision, mission, values, and goals.

Let me take this opportunity to give you an update on the progress our fine district has made over the past three years. The school board and I have agreed upon a set of goals for each of the three years I have been serving the San Juan Island School District. We have reached beyond those obligations, in order to benefit our students. Our district is moving forward and is on the right track. Here are some examples of the progress we have made as a district and community:

• created critical indicators for our district and reviewed our academic programs to ensure we expand our highly capable program, provide extended learning opportunities and enhance our special education services.

• adopted math instructional materials for middle school, and are now piloting integrated math at the high school.

• implemented the balanced literacy program at the elementary school.

• moved sixth grade to middle school. Friday Harbor Middle School staff will be presenting about the transition at the next school board meeting, Feb. 28.

• aligned school improvement plans between buildings with district goals created by our staff and community.

• created our shared vision, mission and goals with 114 district and community participants.

• collaborated with multiple county mental health agencies to provide our students with prevention and intervention services.

• partnered with Northwest Regional Education Service District 189 to provide our district with the technology services needed to meet our students’ and district technology demands

• completed remodels, including the high school’s new roof, the Turnbull Gym lockers, the elementary school’s new fire suppression system, the HVAC system at the high school has updated and lights were replaced with LED lighting.

• provided culturally relevant opportunities for our diverse community, which included immigration workshops, with community partners. There is so much to celebrate!

It is a priority for our administrative team to continue to learn and grow. This team is participating and collaborating with other school districts in our region though the Washington State Leadership Academy. We attend quarterly learning opportunities and receive ongoing in-district support from our instructional leadership coach. WSLA will help us review and create sustainable aligned systems that ensure equity and high-quality learning for all students.

If you would like to meet with me and chat about the exciting progress of our district, stop by The Bean Cafe at 7 a.m., Thursdays, March 1, 8 and 15. I look forward to meeting you in person.If you have any questions, you may contact me via phone at 360-370-7905 at the office or 360-298-8488 on my cell or email Thank you for your continued support.