Leading Towards Justice: Northshore Leaders Share Their Wisdom

Leading Towards Justice: Northshore Leaders Share Their Wisdom
Group photo of 12 students and staff at WHS

Woodinville High School Assistant Principal Richard Brown (back row, center) is joined by students and WHS Assistant Principal Madeline Mason (front row, far left). The students pictured and several others provided remarks at the symposium.

For several years, Northshore has been a regional leader in advancing racial and educational justice. From the initial establishment of the Racial and Educational Justice Department to Ethnic Studies, our school-based equity teams, and the development of policies to hold the system accountable - Northshore has prioritized integrating equity-based practices into how we reimagine and support public education. 

As a result, our Northshore colleagues are often asked to share their leadership knowledge and experiences, strengthening the local and national understanding of promising practices that center and respond to the voices and lived experiences of students and families furthest from racial and educational justice. 

On January 19 and 20, the University of Washington hosted the inaugural in-person Leading for Justice symposium. The symposium brought together content from the Leading Towards Justice webinar series, from previous years, and the curriculum of Leadership for Learning (L4L)’s most recent cohort of students. Twenty-three workshops were presented, including a keynote conversation with Drs. Dana Nickson and Betina Hsieh. 

Northshore district leaders led three sessions for symposium participants - including scholars, practitioners, educators, and school and district administrators representing our region:  

  • Leadership and Justice in the Instructional Core: Interrogating Ways of Being in the Classroom. How are we setting up the learning in service or transformative and liberatory practices? 
    • Led by Northshore’s Melissa Riley, Regional Assistant Superintendent and Natalee Saber, Learning Improvement Officer, Federal Way Public Schools 
  • Relationships - The Pathway to Centering Students Through Leadership
    • Led by Northshore’s Richard Brown, Assistant Principal at Woodinville High School and Doug Baer, educator in the Mukilteo School District.
  • “You Didn’t Make Me, So You Can’t Break Me!” Leveraging Our Unapologetic Self-Worth as BIPOC Women in Educational Leadership 
    • Led by Northshore’s Ayva Thomas, Interim Executive Director of Racial and Educational Justice and Ebonisha Washington, Assistant Principal at Inglemoor High School as well as Lolita Ceja, Indian Education Director in the Toppenish School District. 

The symposium was also attended by Northshore School Board Directors and other district leaders who participated in learning sessions and showed support for their Northshore colleagues. Northshore students were also in attendance to share their experiences with event participants. 

The district’s strong representation at this event is just one more example of how Northshore staff and students continue to learn, grow, and lead toward creating more justice-driven educational environments for each and every student. 

If you couldn’t attend the symposium and or want to learn more, please visit the University of Washington’s Just Ed Leadership Institute website.



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