In a move that surprised parents and students, Tukwila School District’s superintendent resigned this week just days before the start of the school year.
Dr. Nancy Coogan said she resigned to “…attend to family matters” in a statement posted on Tukwila School District’s website.
A year ago, a KING 5 investigation raised questions about the school district’s spending on out-of-state consultants for services like “executive coaching” for administrators. The district’s academic chief at the time blamed Coogan for spending money on administration while cutting education programs for students.
Coogan denied those accusations and said consultants were being used to improve education.
However, earlier this year the Tukwila Education Association – the teacher’s union – issued a vote of “no confidence” in Coogan.
Coogan’s resignation leaves an already challenged school district without a leader.
Tukwila is one of the most culturally diverse school districts in the country. It has students that speak 80 different languages.
It also serves a high number of poor students -- 80 percent of Tukwila’s students are on the free or reduced lunch program.
There are 2,900 students enrolled in the district this year.
Coogan said last year that her hiring of consultants was to raise the educational bar in the district. Her spokesperson claimed that it is common for smaller districts like Tukwila to hire consultants for specific jobs when there is not enough money hire full-time staff.
The district says Dr. Judith Berry will act as temporary superintendent for the district. Berry was originally hired by Coogan to be deputy superintendent after she did consulting work for the district.