WSSDA Welcomes Two New Staff Members

Heather Curl and Christine Geary

On June 17th, the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) had two new staff members begin work. Heather Curl started a new position for WSSDA as a leadership development specialist, while Christine Geary succeeded Abigail Westbrook as director of policy and legal services. 

Christine Geary, J.D.
Director of Policy and Legal Services

Christine Geary began her career in the K-12 classroom and, throughout her thirty-year career in law, has remained true to her passion— the education of our children. She has been involved in K-12 in multiple ways, from classroom teaching (English) to district-level administration and even as principal of a small early-childhood school. She has been a featured speaker at the state and national level with programs on issues relating to student safety across our diverse states and school districts. In addition to her Juris Doctor degree, Geary earned a Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction.

Some of her primary duties for WSSDA will be providing legal support to the WSSDA Board of Directors, Executive Director, all WSSDA Committees, and all WSSDA departments; guiding the revision and/or development of model policies, procedures, and forms; developing and approving content for WSSDA’s Policy & Legal News quarterly magazine; and developing and updates legal resources, and guides for school boards.

“I am grateful to have this opportunity to work with and serve the individuals who give so much of themselves to our students through their work on school boards,” said Geary.  “I look forward to collaboration with all our members.”

Heather Curl, Ed.D.,
Leadership Development Specialist

The second new hire is Heather Curl, Ed.D. She comes to WSSDA with several years of experience working in the domain of adult education. In addition to teaching courses in equity, policy, leadership, change, pedagogy, curriculum design and research, she has experience teaching English and social studies in K-12 educational institutions. 

Curl has published on a variety of topics in education, including student and teacher leadership, social mobility, and theories of change. To her new role, she brings a passion for civic dialogue, student voice, adult learning, and constructivist pedagogy (where instructors encourage students to build their own knowledge through experiences and activities instead of being lectured on abstract concepts). But Curl also relishes the daily opportunity to learn something new and grow. She holds a M.S.Ed. and Ed.D. in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from the University of Pennsylvania. 

The bulk of her responsibilities at WSSDA are to identify the professional learning needs of school directors, design ways to meet those needs, evaluate the efficacy of WSSDA’s tools and techniques for meeting those needs, and to continuously improve them.

“I am thrilled to be joining WSSDA,” said Curl. “I am excited to support the important work school boards do in Washington state and to work with an amazing set of professionals committed to student learning and positive educational opportunities and outcomes.”