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King County Housing Authority
PSESD Superintendent John Welch named to King County Housing Authority Board
King County Executive Dow Constantine has appointed John Welch to serve as a King County Housing Authority commissioner. Welch’s appointment was unanimously confirmed on April 13 by the Metropolitan King County Council. Welch currently serves as superintendent of the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD), the Educational Service District that supports local school districts in King County and oversees the region’s Head Start programs.
“The King County Housing Authority houses over 20,000 children in our affordable housing programs,” said KCHA Executive Director Stephen Norman. “The academic success of these children is absolutely critical to the region’s economic future and the quality of life in our communities. By selecting an accomplished and innovative education leader, this appointment brings to our board the additional expertise to advancing our partnerships with local schools to assure academic and life success for these children. I commend Executive Constantine on this far-sighted choice and am delighted to welcome Superintendent Welch to the board.”
Under Welch’s leadership, the PSESD was awarded a $40 million federal Race to the Top grant to support a regional initiative, the Roadmap Project, which seeks to double the number of students in South King County graduating from college with a degree or career credential by 2020. KCHA is participating as an active partner in this initiative.
Superintendent Welch’s previous positions include superintendent of the Highline School District, vice president for administrative services at South Seattle College, and chief financial officer for Federal Way Public Schools.
In 2007, the Washington Association of School Administrators named Welch “Most Effective Administrator” in the state.
Welch earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Washington University and his MBA from Pacific Lutheran University. His post-graduate studies include leadership programs at the University of Denver, Stanford and Harvard. In 2002, he was selected as a fellow at the Broad Foundation’s Urban Superintendents Academy.
Welch is passionate about all students graduating from high school prepared for higher education and life. He has spent much of his career working to improve the educational system so that all students feel like they belong and have a pathway to post-secondary education and work.
“I’m inspired by KCHA’s commitment to improving educational outcomes for the children it serves through its partnerships with school districts, community service providers, foundations, and others. Equally important is their work to ensure housing stability for families – which I believe strongly impacts how well children do in school,” said Welch. “If I can help in sustaining and expanding the partnerships that make this work succeed, I will have played an important and beneficial role for our region.”
As one of five commissioners, Welch will help guide KCHA’s policies and priorities.
KCHA, an independent municipal corporation established under state law, assists over 18,000 households in the Seattle metropolitan region on a daily basis. The Authority administers rental housing assistance, develops and manages affordable housing and works closely with community stakeholders to address local priorities such as ending homelessness, improving educational outcomes for the region’s low-income youth and assuring that disabled and elderly households can live with dignity.