When Superintendent Larry Nyland spoke at Roosevelt High School’s graduation ceremony on June 17, he was not just marking a major moment for students but also celebrating his 50th graduation anniversary from the very same high school – and more.
With his high school yearbook titled “Strenuous Life” in hand Nyland commented about how Teddy Roosevelt overcame great adversity to achieve a great destiny, emphasizing how success requires grit and determination.
Nyland’s family history with the district goes back a century. This year is the 100th anniversary of his grandparents meeting at West Seattle High School. As Swedish immigrants, they had both been placed in the same English Language Learner class.
Nyland’s father graduated from Lincoln High School in 1938, and his mother graduated from West Seattle High School in 1945. Nyland began as a student at Broadview Thomson Elementary School beginning in 1953. His father taught for the district from 1954 to 1977.
After graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1966, some of Nyland’s early jobs were connected to the district before he even began his career as an educator. Nyland worked as a custodian at Hamilton Middle School. Later, he worked for the U.S. Post Office in what is now the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence – the district’s central office building that houses Nyland’s office now.
Nyland taught and worked as an administrator in a number of regional districts, including serving as superintendent in Pasco, Shoreline and Marysville. Yet despite his family’s history in Seattle Public Schools, Nyland’s career path did not return to Seattle until he was hired as superintendent in 2014, coming full circle.
(Pictured above L to R: Seattle Schools Board Member Jill Geary, Superintendent Larry Nyland and Roosevelt High School Principal Brian Vance)