Happier times: Dr. Susan Enfield (left) and Maria Goodloe-Johnson at an awards ceremony last year
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Happier times: Dr. Susan Enfield (left) and Maria Goodloe-Johnson at an awards ceremony last year
Or so she divulged during a conversation with Seattle Public Schools students last year. While trying to explain the importance of arts in education, Enfield revealed that her debut as a performer had been as a fully-costumed French fry in a school play.

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It's a tad difficult to picture the cool, composed Enfield—usually spotted at Seattle School Board meetings making presentations in stylish suits—disguised as a French fry. But it's not hard to picture her transitioning into the role of interim superintendent if the board votes to terminate Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson's contract at their regular meeting today. The board is considering firing Goodloe-Johnson after an independent investigation revealed that she could have done more to prevent the district's $1.8 million financial scandal that is currently the subject of a criminal investigation. It will vote on whether to approve Enfield as interim superintendent at the same meeting.

It was Goodloe-Johnson who hired Enfield as the district's chief academic officer in July 2009 from a national pool of applicants, putting her in charge of curriculum, teaching, and testing, and the district's schools. Enfield succeeded former chief academic officer Carla Santamo, who left to become deputy superintendent in Tacoma.

Enfield was named a finalist for the position of superintendent of the Bellevue School District in 2009. She came to Seattle Public Schools after a stint as deputy superintendent of Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Wash., where her achievements included nearly doubling the number of advanced placement students, according to SPS. Before that, Enfield was director of teaching and learning at Portland Public Schools and director of the bureau of teaching and learning support at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. She started her career in education as a high school English, ESL, and journalism teacher in Cupertino, Calif.

Enfield has degrees from Harvard, Stanford, and UC Berkeley, where she was a school improvement coach. You can find her detailed resume on Linkedin.

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While some community members seem relieved at the prospect of having someone with Enfield's background and experience ready to step into Maria Goodloe-Johnson's shoes if she gets ousted, others remain skeptical, wondering if she'd be more of the same. Enfield presented the controversial proposal to bring national nonprofit Teach for America to Seattle before the school board last year, stressing that TFA candidates would create a more diverse applicant pool. Although the Seattle teachers union opposed TFA, arguing that there was no dearth of qualified teachers in Seattle, the school board ultimately voted to approve a contract to bring TFA to Seattle.

If approved as interim superintendent by the board, Enfield would earn an annual salary of $225.000 plus benefits. Her contract with the district would be until June 30, 2012, and the board expects to decide whether to extend it or begin a search for a new supe before Jan. 19, 2012.

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