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caption: Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau
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Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau
Credit: KUOW Photo/ Gil Aegerter

Meet Seattle's new superintendent

Denise Juneau took over the job as Seattle's superintendent a few months ago, just as Seattle teachers began negotiating their new contract.

Denise Juneau, 9.17.18

Bill Radke interviews Seattle's new superintendent Denise Juneau

For Denise Juneau, educating is in her blood. Her grandmother was a school cook for 28 years, her grandfather was a bus driver and a school attendance officer, and both her parents were educators. She grew up on the Blackfeet reservation (she herself is a member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation) and she says that upbringing has affected the way she leads now.

"Knowing that school sometimes provides blocks to students' success, and my job now is to make sure those obstacles go away as much as possible, so students can navigate and succeed."

Juneau spent eight years as the state superintendent of Montana, she's now leading Washington's largest school district. One of the first challenges she faced was bargaining a new contract with teachers.

After a threat of strike, the district and teachers came to an agreement last week. Juneau talks about the new teacher contract, the money crunch that is looming and the district's race and equity efforts with Bill Radke.