Dr. Susana Reyes
After a five-month nationwide search for the next Superintendent of Shoreline Public Schools, the Shoreline School Board has selected Dr. Susana Reyes to be the District’s next leader. Dr. Reyes was unanimously approved by the school board on April 29. She will begin in the position on July 1, 2021, succeeding Dr. Rebecca Miner who will be leaving the District after seven years of service.
“We are incredibly excited to name Dr. Reyes as the next Superintendent of Shoreline Public Schools,” said School Board President Meghan Jernigan. “Dr. Reyes is a deeply collaborative leader who engages in her work with clarity and purpose. As a bilingual immigrant and first-generation college graduate, she brings a wealth of experience and perspective to our district. I’m so honored to welcome her to the Shoreline Schools community.”
“I am honored, humbled, and thrilled to have been selected for this incredible opportunity to serve the students, families and staff of Shoreline Public Schools,” said Dr. Reyes. “I want to thank the school board and everyone who participated in the search and selection process. I cannot wait to get started and delve into the critical work of supporting the highest levels of success for each and every student we serve.”
Dr. Reyes’ path to Shoreline began in Mexico City, where she was born. After her father’s job at a medical laboratory was cut due to automation, she and her family moved to San Pedro Lagunillas, Nayarit, where her father attempted to make a living as a farmer. The earnings were not enough to provide for the family or for the children to attend school, so her parents ultimately decided to immigrate to the United States in search of a new chapter in their life. They made a home in Wapato, WA, where her parents worked in the fields all over Wapato and the Yakima Valley. Dr. Reyes and her siblings joined them working during spring thinning season and the summer and fall harvest seasons.
Wanting a better life for their children, her parents stressed the value of education and its importance to their future success. Dr. Reyes took that to heart at an early age, committing herself to doing the very best she could in school and found support and advocacy from the teachers and school staff she had growing up.
She explained that, while they aspired for more, her parents weren’t quite sure just how big they could dream for their children. “At first, they thought a better future was just not working in the fields or warehouse,” said Dr. Reyes. “But we had teachers and staff at the schools who loved us and really supported me in ways that helped my mom and dad dream bigger for us.”
Dr. Reyes chased that dream by committing herself to becoming a lifelong learner. After graduating from Wapato High School, she enrolled at Washington State University (WSU). A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Reyes earned several degrees and certifications through WSU. This included bachelor’s degree in elementary education, master’s degree in education administration, doctorate of educational leadership, as well as principal and superintendent certifications. She also obtained an associate’s degree from Yakima Valley Community College.
After college, Dr. Reyes became a teacher and returned to Wapato to inspire and support students, just as those teachers she had in those same schools growing up had done for her. During her time in Wapato, she served as a bilingual elementary teacher, assistant principal and principal. She then went on to become the assistant superintendent for Pullman Public Schools and then served in the same role for the Mead School District near Spokane. She currently serves as the assistant superintendent of operations for the Pasco School District.
When she came across the Shoreline superintendent job posting, Dr. Reyes didn’t hesitate to apply. “I knew I wanted to be a part of the great work happening in this district,” said Dr. Reyes. She first became aware of Shoreline Schools four years ago when attending a school administrator conference. She saw a presentation by Dr. Miner and Equity and Family Engagement Director Dr. Tanisha Brandon-Felder on the work the District had been doing around issues of equity in supporting the success of all students.
“As I learned more about Shoreline in that presentation and in my research while applying for the position, I was impressed with the incredible work that has been done in so many areas and our capacity to continuously improve outcomes for students,” said Dr. Reyes. “I can’t wait to get started in this work alongside our district’s amazing staff, students, families and community members.”
Dr. Reyes and her husband, Lupe Gonzalez, have a cat named Luna Girl.