New Mukilteo School District superintendent named

Alison Brynelson taking over for Marci Larsen in 2020
By Brandon Gustafson | Sep 11, 2019
Courtesy of: Mukilteo School District Photo: Dr. Alison Brynelson is Mukilteo School District’s next superintendent. She is currently the district’s deputy superintendent.

Well that didn’t take long.

Just few weeks after it was announced that Mukilteo School District Superintendent Dr. Marci Larsen would retire at the end of the year after nearly 17 years at the helm of the third largest school district in Snohomish County, the district has announced her replacement.

On Monday, Sept. 9, the Mukilteo School Board announced that Dr. Alison Brynelson, the district’s current deputy superintendent, will succeed Larsen. Her first official day is Jan. 1, 2020. The School Board voted unanimously to select Brynelson for the job.

“With Dr. Brynelson’s expert leadership and demonstrated commitment to the Mukilteo School District, the board unanimously agreed that selecting her was in the district’s best interest,” School Board President Michael Simmons said. “She’s an innovator with a clear vision for the district and we’re confident it will be a productive mid-year transition with Dr. Brynelson’s extensive knowledge of the district and staff. The one word that comes to mind when I think about Dr. Brynelson is ‘caring.’”

During the School Board’s Aug. 26 meeting, the group unanimously accepted Larsen’s retirement notice.

At that meeting, Simmons said the search for a new superintendent would be one of the top priorities for the board “over the next few months.”

Simmons added that it is "the biggest decision the five of us can make."

Additionally, Simmons said the School Board had already received a letter of interest from one Mukilteo School District employee about filling the opening. That candidate was later revealed to have been Brynelson.

Per a board report from the School District after the board’s Sept. 9 meeting, the board shared thoughts on a meeting they had with an internal candidate (Brynelson) they had in an executive session. Board members referenced multiple letters of reference submitted in support of Brynelson, as well the impressive responses they heard during an interview with her. The board members were also impressed with Brynelson’s focus on equity and student and staff support, all of which have been focuses of the board and School District in recent years.

Per the Mukilteo School District, Brynelson has been in the district for 22 years in various positions.

She had stints as Explorer Middle School’s assistant principal as well as principal at Voyager Middle School. In the School District’s office, she was director of student services, executive director of secondary schools, and assistant superintendent before taking on her current role of deputy superintendent in 2016.

Brynelson earned a superintendent’s certificate in 2005 as well as a doctorate in executive leadership from Seattle Pacific University in 2014. She also has a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University and a master’s degree from University of Puget Sound.

“She has been a steady guiding force in the district’s equity work and the most recent teacher negotiations, which wrapped in June, months before such negotiations typically finish,” a Mukilteo School District news release said.

Brynelson is excited to start her new position in a few months.

“I am honored and grateful the board has given me this opportunity,” she said. “I am committed to the success of all students and look forward to leading this work from the position of superintendent.”

Per the district, Brynelson and the board are working on the terms of a tentative agreement, which will be finalized at a public meeting in the near future.



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