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Gov.-elect Inslee names Renton Supt. Mary Alice Heuschel as his chief of staff

Renton School District Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel and Gov.-elect Jay Inslee.  - Submitted
Renton School District Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel and Gov.-elect Jay Inslee.
— image credit: Submitted

Gov.-elect Jay Inslee has named Renton School District Supt. Mary Alice Heuschel to be his chief of staff.

Heuschel made the announcement to her staff Thursday morning and discussed it with the school board in a special session Wednesday night.

She will start the position Jan. 16 when Inslee takes office.

The Renton School District will appoint an interim superintendent to staff Heuschel's position in early Jan.

According to Randy Matheson, district spokesperson, the search to find a new superintendent is a process that could take months.

A search firm will be hired to solicit applications and screen candidates for the position. The top candidates will be presented to the school board and there will be a chance for the public to weigh in on who should take the position.

In a district press release, Heuschel said she accepted the position “with equal parts profound sadness and heart-pounding excitement with a small measure of high anxiety thrown in.”

Not many opportunities would entice her to leave her colleagues in Renton and her work here, but she also said the call to serve at the state level provides her an enormous opportunity to lead, impact public education and to help reform state government, according to the press release.

Heuschel has served as the district's superintendent for six years.

Heuschel will remain in the district until mid-January.

"Renton, the community and the school district, will always have a very special place in my heart," said Heuschel. "It has become my family."

Renton Mayor Denis Law congratulated Heuschel in a statement released this afternoon.

"We are very pleased to hear about the appointment of Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel as the chief of staff for Governor-elect Inslee," Law said. "There are few people who can match the vision, energy and passion that Mary Alice brings. We are very grateful for her tireless service to the Renton School District and the city, and look forward to continuing our partnership as she assumes her new responsibilities."

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