Renton Superintendent Heuschel named a co-chair of Inslee transition team

Mary Alice Heuschel -
Mary Alice Heuschel
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Renton School Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel has been named one of three co-chairs for Gov.-elect Jay Inslee's transition team.

The leadership team also includes Microsoft Vice President Brad Smith and Washington State University President Elson Floyd.

"First it's an amazing honor to earn his confidence and trust to do this," said Heuschel of Inslee, after a press conference Wednesday in Seattle.

She called the appointment a phenomenal opportunity.

Many people think the superintendent's work is local, but Heuschel says her responsibilities reach beyond the district and this opportunity presents a platform to do more.

As one of the three co-chairs on Inslee's transition team, Heuschel will be responsible for staffing matters first, then policy development and finally she'll serve as a consultant throughout Inslee's term.

Her new role will affect her evenings and weekend schedule, Heuschel said.

"It's impact, but it's the right work," she said.

As with anything she takes on, Heuschel consulted her school board members first about the opportunity.

"I'll be busy, but the truth be told I'm always busy," she said.

Inslee was clear in his expectations of his transition team, Heuschel said.

He remarked at the press conference about the proven leadership qualities of the three he chose.

Heuschel was singled out for being a change agent and her work focusing on what counts and what matters.

She believes she was also chosen for her network of contacts that speak to issues on Inslee's agenda. Heuschel brought up her interest around healthcare and education as an example of the kind of networks she brings to the table.

Inslee made it clear he wants to use his three transition team co-chairs' expertise, but also their networks.

One of Heuschel's first assignments will be to announce Inslee's commitment to pre-kindergarten education at an annual conference of state superintendents and their school board members this weekend in Spokane.

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