Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Leadership Profile Report

Highline seeks to be a leader in being an anti-racist organization focused on eliminating racism, racial and other identity inequities, and institutional bias. 

This report presents the findings of the Leadership Profile Assessment conducted by Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA) in November 2021 for the new superintendent of the Highline Public Schools.  

The data contained herein were obtained from input the HYA consultants received when they met with individuals and groups via Zoom in either individual interviews or focus group/listening sessions and from the results of the online surveys completed by students and stakeholders.

The surveys, interviews, and focus group meetings were structured to gather information to assist the Board in determining the primary characteristics desired in the new superintendent. Additionally, the stakeholder interviews and focus groups collected feedback regarding the strengths of the District and some of the challenges that it will be facing in the coming years.


The numbers of participants, by stakeholder group, in the two methods of data gathering are listed below:

Group Personal Interviews or focus groups Surveys**
Students 18 996
Family Members* 18 297
Community 102 22
Teachers 35 71
Staff 15 48
Administrators 35 16
Totals 223 1,450

*Some family members participated as community members in focus groups and are not counted in family tally.

** Student survey participation includes both the HYA Stakeholder Survey and the HPS Student Survey.

The online survey report, student survey results, and one page summary of the desired characteristics are provided under separate cover and are meant to be stand-alone complementary pieces to the Leadership Profile Report.

It should be emphasized that the data are not a scientific sampling, nor should they necessarily be viewed as representing the majority opinion of the respective groups to which they are attributed. Items are included if, in the consultants’ judgment, they warranted the Board’s attention.

Summary of Stakeholder Input

The focus group sessions were conducted between October 25, and November 29, 2021.  A total of 30 sessions were conducted, including two community forums, one held in-person and another hosted remotely. The online stakeholder survey timeline was November 11 - 29.  During this time frame, the district also administered student surveys with elementary, middle and high school students. All discussions were respectful, insightful and helpful. 

Strengths of the District

While hundreds of comments were made regarding the strengths of the District, the following major themes surfaced often and across multiple stakeholder groups.

Challenges and Issues Facing the District

The following are the major themes surfaced often and across multiple stakeholder groups regarding challenges and issues facing the district.

Desired Characteristics

Focus group participants were asked to name the desired characteristics for the next HPS Superintendent. The following summary of personal characteristics and attributes, skills, and experiences includes analysis of input gathered during listening sessions, student and stakeholder survey results, and responses to open-ended items on the stakeholder survey.

Thank you

The search team would like to thank all the participants who attended focus groups meetings or completed the online survey. We are especially grateful for the assistance, support and collaboration provided by Erinn Bennett.

We also thank and appreciate all the Highline staff members, who assisted behind the scenes with our meetings, particularly Lolita O’Donnell, Maria Santiago, Nikki Fogerty, and Kisa Hendrickson. 

Respectfully submitted by:

John Bash, Lisa Flores, and Valerie Pitts

HYA Associates


Erinn Bennett
Director of Special Projects