Dr. Larry L. Nyland

Seattle Public Schools
Seattle, Washington
United States

Focus Areas

K-12 Education
Leadership Development
Social Justice
Immigration & Border Issues
Religion / Faith / Spirituality
Youth Development
Youth Development


Dr. Larry Nyland was appointed by the School Board as the Interim Superintendent in August 2014 and was hired as the permanent Superintendent in January 2015. He leads Washington State’s largest K-12 school district, with 8,000 employees and 52,000 students. Dr. Nyland retired in June 2013 after nine years as the Marysville School District Superintendent, where he transformed a challenging climate. When he began in 2004, a 49-day teachers’ strike had resulted in declining enrollment, graduation rates were low and the community hadn’t approved a school bond issue in 16 years. Through strengthening relationships with teachers and staff, community engagement with families, building partnerships with the business community, local service organizations and the Tulalip Tribes, he was able to rebuild the Marysville district into one that saw stabilized enrollment after the strike, win voter approval for a $118 million bond issue for new schools in 2006 and work with staff to raise graduation rates by 22 percent. In 2007, Dr. Nyland was named Superintendent of the Year by the Washington School Administrators Association, and he was also a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year in 2007. The School Board of Marysville was named Board of the Year in 2012. This was not Dr. Nyland’s first interim appointment. He served as Interim Superintendent for the Shoreline School District in 1997, where he stepped in during a difficult time and helped renew trust and relationships with labor groups, won voter approval for renewal of a local tax initiative to support schools and created a district focused on school improvement around literacy. Before that, he was the Chief Academic Officer and Human Resources Director for six years at Highline Public Schools, and also served as Director of the Superintendent Program at Seattle Pacific University, where he also served as an adjunct professor from 1997-2013. He started his career as a high school teacher in Gig Harbor, spent time as a principal and Superintendent in Alaska, and then returned to Washington to become the Superintendent of the Pasco School District from 1982-1992. Dr. Nyland says his personal mission has always been to bring people together to do what it takes to improve student success. He will bring that same mission to his work overseeing the 52,000 Seattle Public Schools students. A 1966 Roosevelt High School graduate, Dr. Nyland received his Bachelor of Arts, Master’s degree and Doctorate in Education Administration from the University of Washington. He also served on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the UW from 2009-2011. Since retiring from the Marysville School District, Dr. Nyland has spent the past year as a leadership coach, work that he has done through most of his career. This past year he has been in more than 100 classrooms working with more than 40 districts in the areas of Superintendent evaluation training, Superintendent coaching, student assessment consulting and as a leadership coach for principal evaluations. In fall of 2013, he worked with the Seattle School Board to facilitate a meeting on the Superintendent evaluation process. Dr. Nyland and his wife Kathy have a grown son and daughter. In his spare time, he is an avid reader, works on genealogy, does volunteer work and jokes that he may be one of the “world’s slowest runners.”