Newly named Inslee chief of staff Mary Alice Heuschel
  • Renton School District
  • Newly named Inslee chief of staff Mary Alice Heuschel

It seems nearly every gubernatorial candidate promises to be "the education governor," but in naming Renton School District superintendent Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel to be his new chief of staff, Governor-elect Jay Inslee today took a strong step toward fulfilling that promise.

Heuschel is a career educator, a former teacher and principal who was named by her peers the 2011 Washington State Superintendent of the Year. She's not entirely an Olympia newcomer, having served six years as Deputy State Superintendent in the Washington Department of Education, but she's certainly no insider. And in case you're wondering, she vocally opposed the charter schools initiative, I-1240.

Back in April, Inslee chose Renton's Talbott Elementary School as the backdrop for introducing his education plan, an event at which he praised Heuschel effusively. Heuschel is also a co-chair of Inslee's transition team.

My guess is that Inslee will earn a lot of praise for picking Heuschel. And deservedly so.