I am Heather Lyke, and I am thrilled to be joining the Northwest Suburban Integration School District (NWSISD) team as the new Executive Director starting on July 1, 2023. Over the last few decades, my work has evolved from classroom to curriculum/instruction to administrative roles across three public school districts: Rochester, Dover-Eyota, and Minneapolis. I have also co-created and delivered professional development in nine of the districts supported by Southeast Service Cooperative.
It is my mission to remove barriers and provide more access to diverse educational opportunities for the NWSISD community. As Executive Director, not only do I see quality opportunities continuing for our communities' students, but also expanding and evolving as we—neighboring districts and educators—learn from and support each other. NWSISD magnet schools and programs help embrace the individual and diverse needs of today's students. As educators, each of the students we serve have their own learning path, whether it is formally provided or not: each student comes from a family background unique to them, learns at a pace that is their own, and has aspirations unlike their peers.
I have had opportunities to champion student, community, and staff councils grounded in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; project-based learning programming; and shifts in literacy and multilingual instructional practices. Each initiative applied to support, at least in part, each student’s individual growth and real-world skill application.
NWSISD leadership and professional development allows staff and students room for absent narratives to find a voice, creates space to explore their intersectionalities, and provides time to learn from and about our differences. This is critical work, and I am excited to share in this NWSISD vision.
I am looking forward to sharing my skills and developing new ones as I work alongside the NWSISD staff and the seven-district consortium.