About Michael Tolley

Michael Tolley is the Assistant Superintendent for the East Region in the Northshore School District. In this role he provides direct supervision of school leaders as well as oversight of Special Services departments including Special Education, Student Services, and Accelerated Models and Programs. Previously, Mr. Tolley served as Assistant and Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, as well as Chief Academic Officer for Seattle Public Schools. In his early years with Seattle, Mr. Tolley was Director of High Schools, where he supervised school leaders at all 18 high schools in the district. He also served as Executive Director of Schools, Southeast Region, supervising K-12 school leaders. 

Before moving to Washington State, Mr. Tolley’s years as an educator were spent in the Charleston County School District and the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina. There, he spent 17 years in the classroom as a biology/marine biology teacher and chairperson of the Science Departments. Tolley served in roles as Assistant Principal, Principal and Interim Associate Superintendent while in South Carolina.

Mr. Tolley earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston (1980). He went on to earn his Master’s in Education (1987), as well as his Education Specialist degree and Superintendent certification (2004) from The Citadel. He currently holds superintendent and principal certifications in both Washington and South Carolina.

“Obtaining equitable outcomes for our students has been a focus for me for more than a decade,” Tolley said. “I am excited to contribute to Northshore’s commitment to equity that will ensure that each and every one of our students is successful, particularly those who are the furthest away from educational and social justice. I am looking forward to engaging with our students, their families, our educators and the community.”

The community shared that a focus on support services for students should be an immediate focus of the interim leader. Mr. Tolley brings with him the experience overseeing Student Support Services and is looking forward to continuing to build on the strong foundation in place.  

Michael Tolley will begin his work as interim superintendent on July 1 and will prioritize consistency for students, staff, and families, for a smooth transition as we close out the school year and plan for the 2022-2023 school year. Staff will work to backfill his responsibilities as he steps into the interim superintendency. 

To view the school board meeting, including the board’s vote on Mr. Tolley, please visit https://www.nsd.org/our-district/leadership/school-board/view-board-meeting-materials 

“Thank you to everyone who participated in this process, and we look forward to additional partnerships this fall in our search for the permanent superintendent,” McGourty said.