Superintendent Andrew Kelly: “Kids First” Educational Leader
"We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do this. Whether we do it or not must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we have not done it so far.''― Ron Edmonds
Andrew E. (Andy) Kelly joined North Beach School District in June, 2018, bringing with him a 28-year career in public education. He was born in Chehalis, Washington and graduated from W.F. West High School to pursue his bachelor’s degree at Central Washington University, majoring in music education. Kelly’s teaching and coaching career began in Zillah, WA. As a lover of both music and athletics, Kelly knew at the very beginning of his career that the key to supporting kids in school begins with relationship building and connections.
Superintendent Kelly earned his master’s degree at Heritage University in Educational Leadership and was quickly recruited “home” to become an assistant principal at Chehalis Middle School (where he had attended as a student just a few years earlier). Andy grew as an administrator moving on to serve the Yelm Community School District as both the director of their alternative school/assistant principal at Yelm High School.
School and district improvement have been one of Kelly’s passions his entire career. He has served as a high school principal in three different communities, in three different states. In each position, Kelly was charged with turning around low performing high schools and pushing for equity in systems where students were frequently marginalized. His 14-year high school principal career in the Clover Park School District, Portland Public Schools and Washoe County School District (Reno, NV) provided him the opportunity to radically transform both the expectations and results for kids.
Kelly returned to Washington in 2011 and after less than a year of focused work for a school improvement non-profit was recruited to serve then State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Randy Dorn. Kelly’s role at OSPI as the Assistant Superintendent in the Office of Student and School Success put him in the position of coaching 286 schools statewide that were identified as focus or priority schools for low student achievement in reading or mathematics.
On July 1, 2015, Kelly accepted the invitation to serve the Lyle School District as their superintendent in an effort to transform student outcomes for each of the students they serve. When Superintendent Kelly began, each of Lyle’s three schools were labeled, “priority,” meaning they were performing in the lowest fove percent in the state in reading and math proficiency. By January 2018, all of Lyle’s schools had exited “priority” status and their elementary school was recognized as a Washington School of Distinction for being in the top five percent in growth statewide.
“I believe that the North Beach School District can be the highest achieving school district in the state of Washington,” Kelly reflected in a community forum. “It is clear we have a committed and dedicated educational staff, brilliant scholars, and a community that wants what’s best for their sons/daughters. We can improve our district to meet the needs of each and every learner and support our teachers, classified staff and administrative team to do their very best work."