A Welcome Message from Interim Superintendent Michael Tolley

Welcome to the 2022-23 school year! I am honored to be the interim superintendent for the Northshore School District and to serve this great community.

As a life-long educator the start of school signifies a special time of year filled with excitement and possibility. I can remember preparing for the new school year as a student and the hopeful anticipation I felt for the year ahead - excitement about the friends I would make, my teachers, and what I might learn. As I have been out in the community engaging in various back to school events, I see and hear this same hopeful energy from many of our students and their families.

These past few years have tested all of us, and I am proud of how our Northshore community rose to the challenge. We learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and saw great things happen for students when we worked together. While we may continue to face challenges, it’s time to focus on what we do best – educating students.

Access to high-quality teaching and learning is every student’s right, and it is the District’s responsibility to deliver what each student needs to be successful. This school year, we will be laser-focused on making sure that each and every student receives what they need – when they need it. I am personally committed to making sure that the Northshore School District is a place your child feels welcome, is known, and is academically challenged and successful.

As interim superintendent I want to build on the strengths of the District, implement proven strategies to address challenges, and eliminate barriers to student achievement. This means the District will be investing in additional counselors, student and staff wellness, a new K-5 literacy curriculum, and researched-based teaching practices that improve outcomes for all students but especially our students who are the furthest away from educational justice. We will use data to drive our decisions, monitor progress, and share our learning with the community.

I know the transformational power of a great public education and have seen the positive difference it makes for individuals, families, and communities. The health of our greater community depends on the excellence of our public schools, and I am committed to making them work for every one of our children.

The success of our students also requires the support and involvement of our broader community. Thanks to our generous voters and approval of the Capital Projects Bond, Technology Levy, and Educational Programs and Operations Levy, we can continue to provide critical student support and services now and into the future.

As your interim superintendent I want to continue learning what is working for our students and where there are areas for growth. During the next few months, I look forward to sharing the District’s refreshed Strategic Plan and hearing directly from students, families, staff, partners, and community members. I hope you join me in these important conversations. Together we can make students’ hopes and dreams a reality.

In partnership,

Interim Superintendent Michael Tolley

Northshore School District has a strong reputation of educational excellence in the region. As Interim Superintendent Tolley takes over leadership of one of the state’s larger school systems, his commitment to continued school improvement and success for every student depends on an engagement plan that will instruct and inform him and the School Board as they work together to implement the updated 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, Learning into the Future.


Between August and January 2023, Interim Superintendent Tolley implemented a comprehensive Listen and Learn tour.

The purpose of the tour was to introduce stakeholders, including staff, to the refreshed five-year Strategic Plan, grow Interim Superintendent Tolley’s knowledge of the District, and provide an intentional and inclusive structure for two-way communication with the Northshore School District community and stakeholders.

The Listen and Learn Tour reflects the Interim Superintendent’s personal commitment and strong desire to engage and learn from students, families, staff, and partners. Engagement was designed to reach stakeholders whose voices have been historically underrepresented.

The tour included a series of:

  • in-person meetings
  • key informational interviews
  • school visits
  • focus groups, and broad engagement to hear from students, staff, families, and members of the community, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

During these meetings and interviews, the Interim Superintendent listened for information from stakeholders about:

  • Strengths of the District
  • Areas of attention and improvement
  • Challenges facing the District
  • How the District can best serve families, students and or partners’ educational interests


The Listen and Learn Tour provided Interim Superintendent Tolley the opportunity to share the updated Strategic Plan and listen, observe, and learn from a variety of stakeholders, including students, families, and partners, while gaining an understanding of the District’s strengths and areas of potential improvements. The tour culminated with the development of a Summary Report in 2023, outlining the Superintendent’s findings, observations, and next steps. The Listen and Learn tour is one component of the Interim Superintendent’s Entry Plan.