Justin "Tim" Mills, the third of three finalists to be the Bellevue Superintendent said that working for a school district is the most important work in the community.
Mills discussed the importance of professional development for teachers, and past professional development of other school employees when it comes to learning about diversity and relating to the community.
"I don't believe school districts have jobs that aren't important," he said. "That means that anybody who has a job, whether they are licensed staff or classified staff, needs to also feel supported in their growth in that job."
Mills praised the common curriculum that the Bellevue district has adopted across its schools.
"Because students should have the opportunity to receive the same high quality education regardless of what neighborhood they live in, or what school they attend. There should be that guarantee that if you are in a Bellevue school, you are going to receive the same type of high quality curriculum that’s gong to work for you," he said.
Mills is one of being considered to replace citing family reasons.
Two other candidates, and also have interviewed in Bellevue this week.
Read more about the search for a Bellevue School District Superintendent on Bellevue Patch.
Mills has been the Superintendent of the North Clackamas School District in Oregon since 2009.
Mills also has been superintendent in Colorado, in the Mesa Valley County and Brush Public School Districts. He also served as a middle school principal and assistant principal in Mesa Valley County and began his career as a teacher in Colorado and Arizona. Mills holds his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Colorado and his Ed.D from Nova Southeastern University.
Mills said that he was the first among his siblings to graduate from high school, and his grandmother who raised him instilled the value of education.
Mills said that he was a school music teacher before becoming a school administrator, so he feels that arts education fosters creativity which is important to innovation.
However, in North Clackamas, which has not hired in the past few years and has faced major budget cuts, elementary students are taught by visiting professional artists instead of teachers -- though he said that he feels it's not as good as a teacher in the classroom giving the students that art experience.
The video of the morning public forum with Mills has been posted to the Bellevue School District website, and the district plans to post the evening session as well.