Denise Juneau to Resign as Seattle Public Schools Superintendent

Montana's former Superintendent of Public Instruction will leave her superintendent post in Seattle in June

By Tristan Scott
Denise Juneau in Browning on Jan. 27, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

SEATTLE  — Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau said Tuesday she will resign when her contract ends in June.

Her announcement Tuesday follows the local NAACP’s call for her termination and Seattle School Board President Chandra Hampson saying she didn’t expect Juneau had sufficient votes to support a contract renewal.

The relationship between Juneau and some School Board members has been strained, with the coronavirus pandemic adding to concern about Seattle Public Schools’ direction, The Seattle Times reported.

“There has never been a more important time for unity and healing,” Juneau said in a statement. “For progress to continue in Seattle, the full-throated support of a united school board is essential.”

Hampson said Juneau has some traits of someone who is steady through a crisis, but lacks the skills to effectively manage the district’s operational challenges and respond to community feedback, particularly around allegations of racism, abuse and misconduct in schools. Her efforts to address those issues haven’t been systemic enough, Hampson said.

Juneau said the district “made significant progress on many fronts” during her tenure, which began in 2018. She said she was specifically proud of creating the Office of African American Male Achievement.

Juneau is the first Native American superintendent in Seattle’s history. She was Montana’s superintendent of public instruction from 2008-2016.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.