Mercer Island School Board selects Donna Colosky as new Superintendent

June 26, 2017 | by Erin Sirianni

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The Mercer Island School Board has unanimously named Donna Colosky as the next superintendent of the Mercer Island School District. Current superintendent Gary Plano will retire June 30th.

Colosky is currently superintendent for Paradise Unified School District, in Paradise, Calif. She brings 19 years of experience in educational leadership and 32 years total in public education.

“We feel Donna Colosky is a great fit for Mercer Island,” said Board President David D’Souza. “Her caring and passion for public education, experience and breadth of knowledge were evident during our interviews with her. We look forward to welcoming her to our Island community.”

In her current position, Colosky is responsible for leading the second-largest district in rural Butte County of Northern California and the second-largest employer in the town of Paradise. Under her leadership, Google Apps for Education has been implemented and the District has moved towards 1-to-1 Chromebooks, along with a focus on professional development on best practices for instruction and setting the pathway for the District as a Future-Ready District.

“Thank you to the Board for placing their confidence in me to serve as the next Mercer Island superintendent,” Colosky said. “I’m excited to be joining such an awesome team and community and building on the great foundation of Mercer Island Schools.”

Prior to her current position, Colosky spent 27 years in the Apple Valley Unified School District in the High Desert area of Southern California. During her tenure, her positions included assistant superintendent of human resources, director of curriculum and instruction, principal in charge of establishing a new, technology-based elementary school, elementary principal, assistant principal, master/mentor teacher and classroom teacher. Before joining Apple Valley Unified School District, Colosky was an elementary teacher, teaching primary grades and school-wide music.

Colosky received her master’s in Educational Leadership and administrative services credential from Chapman University. She earned her Bachelor of Music, as well as her teaching certificate, from the University of British Columbia. She was raised in Burnaby, B.C.

Colosky and her husband of 30 years have two grown children, both of whom attended K-12 public schools and graduated from public universities. In her time spent outside of her passion for education, Donna enjoys snow skiing, hiking, and kayaking, as well as reading, gardening, and yoga.

The Mercer Island Board engaged in an intensive five-month superintendent search and interview process after current superintendent Dr. Gary Plano announced his retirement effective June 30th. That process included hiring a search firm; soliciting public input to define the district’s needs; weekly search meetings with public input; evaluating and researching 64 applications; and many hours of candidate interviews, including the community forums with the candidates.

“As elected officials, we recognize the trust placed in us by the Mercer Island community, and we hope to live up to the high standards this community expects,” D’Souza said.

[Mercer Island School District Media Release]