Superintendent Search

Contact: Michael Ward, Director of Communications

In January 2022, Riverview Superintendent, Dr. Anthony L. Smith, announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 school year. Dr. Smith has served for 39 years in public education, 28 of those in the Riverview School District, and 9 years in his current role as Superintendent. After accepting his retirement, the School Board of Directors has initiated the process to hire our next Superintendent.

At the January 25, 2022 School Board meeting, the School Board selected the search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA) to lead the hiring process. What follows is a summary and outline of next steps, as well as information regarding the process.










On Friday morning, April 1, 2022, the Riverview School District School Board of Directors unanimously selected Dr. Susan Leach as the district’s next superintendent.

Dr. Leach was selected following a rigorous process which culminated this week with a conversation with the district’s administrative team, a Question-and-Answer session with district staff, a Community Town Hall streaming event moderated by Cedarcrest High School students, and a final interview with our Board of Directors.

Click Dr. Leach's image above to learn more about our next Superintendent in Riverview School District!


Click the button above to learn more about the finalists selected by the Riverview School Board of Directors at the March 24 Special Board Meeting.

  • Dr. James Crawford

  • Heidi Harris

  • Dr. Susan Leach

SEARCH UPDATE (March 17, 2022)

Application Screening Completed

Through advertising, outreach and recruiting efforts, the district’s search consultants (HYA) contacted or reached out to 63 prospective candidates about the RSD superintendent vacancy.  

  • Among the 63 prospects, there were 53 from Washington State, and 10 from other states

  • In addition, there were 8 current or former superintendents, 2 deputy superintendents; 14 Associate or Assistant Superintendents; 18 Executive Directors or Directors; 11 school leaders; 6 nontraditional candidates; and 4 candidates without a current or former role specified.

  • 21 candidates completed and submitted applications for the position.

  • 6 candidates were selected for first round interviews with the Board.

Candidate Interviews


  • First Round Interviews: The Riverview School Board will interview six candidates selected for the first round of interviews on March 23-24, 2022, in Executive Session.

  • Selection of Finalists: On March 25, 2022, the Board will announce the names of candidate(s) who will advance to the finalist interview phase.  The time for this Board meeting will be posted soon to the district website.

  • Finalist Interviews - Open Process: On March 15, 2022, the School Board took formal action at a special meeting to establish an open process for the finalist phase of the search process. The names of selected finalists will be made public on March 25, 2022 and posted to the district’s website. This also provides opportunities for stakeholders to participate as follows:

Each finalist will be meeting with staff as well district and school leaders when they visit the district the week of March 28. In addition, a panel of high school students will interview each candidate during a Virtual Town Hall Community Event. The community will be invited to observe, via livestream, a Question and Answer session between each finalist and those selected students. Following the Town Hall, the School Board will conduct a final interview with each candidate in Executive Session.

Specific dates for finalist interviews will be determined and posted to the district website following the first round of interviews.


  • Participant Input: For staff, students and other stakeholders who participate in finalist activities, the district will provide an online link, where people can share their input regarding each finalist candidate. This simple tool will ask participants to list the strengths of each candidate and any questions or concerns they would like to share with the School Board.

Selection of the Next Superintendent

The School Board will discuss the qualifications of each finalist candidate, review stakeholder input and interview information gathered during finalist visits, and review any final reference and/or background check information prior to announcing the next superintendent.


Once finalist interview dates are confirmed, a special School Board meeting will be scheduled for the announcement of the next superintendent.  These specific dates and times will be posted to the district’s website soon after finalist candidates are named.


PROCESS UPDATE (March 2, 2022):

The Riverview School Board of Directors and HYA have been meeting and consulting on next steps of the Superintendent Search process. 

Here is an update on where the district is at in the search process:

  • The HYA consultants are currently recruiting and screening applicants who have applied for the position using the Leadership Profile documentation generated from over 100 participants in focus groups and more than 200 confidential survey responses received. The Leadership Profile Report and Desired Characteristics of the Next Superintendent Report was presented at the February 22 School Board Meeting.

    Those reports are available for review further down on this page.

  • The application window closes March 2 and HYA will be working on presenting a slate of candidates for the School Board to evaluate and consider.

  • As the School Board continues planning for the interview phase of the superintendent search process, details on opportunities for community involvement with the selected finalists will be forthcoming. 

The School Board of Directors thanks everyone who took the time to provide feedback and insight in the listening sessions, focus groups, and survey phase of this process.



The superintendent search process launched at the end of January with listening sessions and an online survey that were both designed to gather internal and external stakeholder feedback. Over 20 listening sessions were completed, including two open public sessions. All together, these sessions included 102 participants. In addition, 206 stakeholders responded to the superintendent survey.

The survey and listening sessions gathered the following community insight:

  • Strengths of our schools and district

  • Challenges the district is currently facing

  • What the new leader’s priorities should be

  • What professional characteristics the next superintendent should have

The following groups were represented in the district’s listening sessions:

  • Students

  • Student Family Members

  • Classified Staff

  • Teachers/Certificated Staff

  • School Leaders

  • District Leaders

  • Local Elected & Appointed Leaders

  • Non-Profit Leaders

  • Community Members & Alumni

  • School Board Members

The School Board thanks everyone who took time to attend a listening session and respond to the survey.  Your feedback is an important part of developing the criteria the Board will use to screen and select the next superintendent.


To read or download the Leadership Profile Report, please click here.
To read or download the Desired Leadership Characteristics summary, please click here.

Scroll down and read the Leadership Profile Report section-by-section.

Stakeholder feedback related to the district’s strengths and challenges are summarized in a Leadership Profile Report shared with the Riverview School Board and larger community on February 22, 2022. Board meeting agendas are posted to the district’s website ( prior to each meeting and contain instructions for calling into the meetings. 

The Leadership Profile Report is now available for reading and/or downloading. In addition, the superintendent search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA) have prepared a concise list of Desired Leadership Characteristics for the next superintendent, which was also informed by stakeholder input. These two documents will be used to inform ongoing recruitment, application screening, interview planning, and selection decisions in identifying a new superintendent for the Riverview School District.


HYA consultants began recruiting for this leadership opportunity at the end of January. They continue to receive inquiries as a result of state and national advertising for the position, and are reaching out to prospective candidates to discuss the opportunity. The Leadership Profile Report will be used to further inform these recruiting discussions.



Applications are due to HYA by March 2, 2022. The School Board will review and consider candidates in early March. HYA will garner feedback from the School Board regarding candidate qualifications and how well each applicant addresses needs summarized in the Leadership Profile Report. Based upon the School Board’s input, HYA will recommend a group of 4-6 candidates to interview with the School Board in mid-March. Interview questions will be developed using the Leadership Profile Report as a key reference point. In doing so, the top priorities and concerns identified by community stakeholders during the listening sessions and via the online survey will remain an integral part of the interview and selection process for a new superintendent.  


Will these interviews be open to the public?

No. The Board will interview candidates in a closed session meeting. The rationale for this approach is based upon the Board’s goal to attract as many qualified candidates as possible.  

Many qualified candidates who are currently serving as leaders in other districts choose not to apply for positions where their identities will be made public during interviews. We want to attract bold leaders, who invest whole-heartedly in their communities, and who consider how their actions will impact the districts they serve. As such, many bold and talented leaders are simply not willing to risk, if not selected, the adverse implications an unsuccessful bid would have on their leadership effectiveness and relationships in their current districts. For this reason, the identities of candidates selected for interviews will not be made public.

The Riverview School Board values stakeholder input and deeply appreciates the feedback received from the many internal and external stakeholders who participated in the engagement phase of this process. This input is the foundation of the Leadership Profile Report that the School Board will use to inform their decisions.


The Board plans to name and publicly announce the next superintendent at the end of March, prior to the district’s scheduled spring break. Typically, this announcement is made contingent upon the negotiation of an employment contract between the district and selected candidate.

We will be continuing to provide our community updated information and details regarding this entire process, up to and including the announcement/naming of our next Superintendent.