Northshore’s Division of Teaching and Learning - Reorganization

Northshore’s Division of Teaching and Learning - Reorganization

April 5, 2024

Dear Northshore Staff:

In May 2023, we began implementing a phased reorganization of the Administrative Center to address necessary budget reductions, improve alignment to the District’s Strategic Plan goals, and provide better support for schools, families, and students. 

  • Phase One, included the reduction and combination of cabinet-level positions, alignment of family engagement supports and services, and initial restructuring of the Human Resources Department. 
  • Phase Two, announced in December 2023, included the elimination of seven and a half Administrative Center positions to be implemented July 1, 2024. 

Today I am announcing Phase Three, reorganization of the Division of Teaching and Learning. The changes described below will also take effect on July 1, 2024. 

As shared previously, last year, most of the position and budget reductions were made in our Operations Departments. This year, most central administrative reductions have been made across our Teaching and Learning Departments for next school year. While several positions were eliminated, the work will continue and needs to be redistributed. Reorganization of the remaining personnel must support continuity of services for our students, families and staff, retain critical knowledge, and maintain our ability to comply with state and federal laws, labor contracts, and district policies. 

In addition, changes to the Division of Teaching and Learning structure recognizes the critical importance of School Leaders in supporting students’ learning and achieving our District Strategic Plan commitments. Administrative Center personnel must be organized and ready to simultaneously enhance our school leaders’ capacity to serve as system leaders and provide instructional staff with the tools, knowledge, and skills necessary to serve the students in their classrooms. The Division of Teaching and Learning has been reorganized with these goals in mind. 

Below is a description of the organizational shifts. 


  • Chief Academic Officer: Dr. Obadiah Dunham will lead the new Division of Teaching and Learning. As the Chief Academic Officer he will oversee the departments of School Support, Special Education, Student Services, Teaching and Learning as well as strategic plan progress monitoring, teacher and principal growth and evaluation, and leadership professional development. Below are departments that will report directly to Dr. Dunham and the lead staff: 
    • School Support: All of our high schools and high school programming will be supported by one executive director.  Our twenty elementary and six middle schools will be grouped in general feeder patterns, and each feeder pattern supported by one executive director. The 2024-25 Executive Directors of Schools are as follows: 
      • Executive Director of High Schools, Heather Miller: All high schools, NLO, ATI/ATP, District Athletics, High School Graduation Planning and Support, New Administrator Induction, High School Programming (Graduation Pathways, Running Start, World Language Competency, High School Master Schedules, High School Grading, Transcripts), High School Counselors, and Secondary Summer School. 
      • Executive Director of K-8 Schools for the WHS and NCHS Pathways, Melissa Riley: All current East and North region Elementary and Middle Schools, Middle School Counselors, and Middle School Programming (Middle School Master Scheduling, Course Catalog, and Grading).
      • Executive Director of K-8 Schools for the IHS and BHS Pathways, Dr. David Wellington: All current South and West region Elementary and Middle Schools, Elementary Counseling, Elementary School Programming (Elementary Master Scheduling, Grading, 5th Grade Camp, PACE, and Kindergarten).
    • Director of Student Services, Rick Ferrell: Health Services, Attendance and Truancy, 504s, Enrollment Waivers, Mental Health, Student Discipline, Title IX, in addition to system support to prevent and/or address Student Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying, and supervision of the Student Services team: 
      • District Supervisor of Health Services, Cindy Mato will manage Nursing Services for Northshore including supervision of the nursing staff. 
      • District Truancy Specialist, Ana Foy, will continue to oversee Truancy, the McKinney-Vento program and support for students experiencing homelessness, and Foster Care. 
    • Executive Director of Special Education, Doreen Milburn: Early Childhood Programming, Safety Net, State and Federal Grants, Liaison to the NSD Special Education PTA, TVI, Assistive Technology Team, OT/PT, SLPs, Audiology/Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Compliance and IEP Online in addition to supervision of the Special Education Administrative team: 
      • High School Special Education Director, Julie Trembath-Neuberger, will provide oversight for high school special education programing, Out of District Placement, School Psychologists, Adult Transition Program, Post Secondary Calls, and Graduation Pathways. 
      • Middle School Special Education Director, Shannon Phanhthavilay, will provide oversight for middle school special education programming, BCBA Programming, NSD Behavior Programs, CPI, Special Education Teachers on Special Assignment, SEAT, and act at the liaison with Northshore Learning Options. 
      • Elementary School Special Education Director, Dr. Scott Irwin, will provide oversight for elementary school special education programming, NSD Special Education Mental Health Specialists, ESY, and SEAT. 
    • Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Amity Butler: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, Research and Evaluation, College and Career Readiness, K-12 Highly Capable Programming, Grants, Teacher Induction Program, and Instructional Programming (Title II Grants, Course Requests, Course Codes), in addition to supervision of the Teaching and Learning team:
      • Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning, Adra Davy, will be supporting the department during the 2024-25 school year and responsible for creating strong structures for professional development in support of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and the Danielson Framework (teacher evaluation). 

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment 

  • Assistant Director of Instructional Technology, Shelby Reynolds, will be joining the Teaching and Learning Department, merging instruction and the work of our Technology Department. She will lead instructional materials management, Library Services, supervise the school-based School Technology Specialists, and Technology Coordinators. 
  • Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Niki Smith, will lead K-12 Instructional Materials Sustainment, Instructional Materials Adoption, Supervise the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Teachers on Special Assignment, and Northshore’s Summer Institute.
  • Assistant Director of Assessment, Dr. Derek Tucci, will supervise all state testing (e.g., WA-Kids, Smarter Balanced Assessment) and district benchmark assessments (e.g. iReady).
  • K-12 Music TOSA

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

  • Director of MTSS, Ebony Harvey, will provide oversight for MTSS support and implementation, the Learning Assistance Program, English Language Development - including the ELD Teacher on Special Assignment, Categorical Funding (Title I, Title III, LAP, and TBIP), and act as the district’s liaison with the Eastside Native Language Program.

Research and Evaluation

  • Director of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Craig Foster, will oversee implementation of the annual administration of Panorama, our District’s social and emotional survey, development of strategic plan goal reports, and continue to support and lead evaluation of the efficacy of Northshore’s instructional programming. 

College and Career Readiness

  • Director of College and Career Readiness, Damen Schuneman, will continue to supervise Career and Technical Education Programming, Advanced Placement, College in the High School, Career and College Readiness Specialists, and post-secondary testing (AP, PSAT, SAT, and ACT).

These staffing moves help us to address our budget shortfall and the related loss of positions while also bringing more alignment to teaching and learning functions. I will monitor implementation of the new division and make adjustments as necessary. If you have any questions regarding Phase 3 of the Administrative Center reorganization you may email me directly,  

In partnership, 

Michael Tolley



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