2018-2019 Superintendents to Watch-Mary Templeton

Dr. Mary Templeton
Washougal (Wash.) School District 
Washougal, Wash.

Dr. Mary Templeton joined the Washougal School District in July 2018 and immediately dove in to get to know the staff, students and community. She has been highly visible in all district schools with weekly classroom visits and attendance at school programs and performances. She developed an entry plan with the motto “Listening to Learn and Leading Forward,” which includes holding meetings with individuals and groups within Washougal School District and the community.

Shortly after beginning her superintendency, there was a seven-day teacher strike in her district, along with eight other districts in the region. Templeton led her district with courage, understanding and grace through this difficult situation. She worked with her negotiations team to navigate the challenges of the situation by using social media to respond to questions posed by teachers and community members as well as charts and graphics to illustrate the issues. She provided daily updates and penned a heartfelt letter shared via social media, where she highlighted her hopes for the future for the district with everyone working as a team. 

She was good on her word. In her first six months on the job, Templeton made it a priority to visit every district classroom, attend school and community events, hold “meet the superintendent” forums, connect with elected officials and join staff meetings.

Just four months after joining the district, Templeton launched a comprehensive process to re-develop the district’s strategic plan. She used Thoughtexchange’s platform to obtain feedback from staff and business representatives as well as students and their families. 

Whether through her weekly staff e-mail “Messages from Mary” or through her informal coffee meetings with parents, Templeton celebrates excellence in her district from the classroom to the central office. Her knowledge and passion for education coupled with a dynamic energy and warmth has made her one of the go-to superintendents in the state of Washington.