Principal Puckett Responds to Teacher Diversity Dilemma


While the classroom staff lacks ethnic diversity, two of the four MIHS Administrators are people of color. Puckett indentifies as Asian and Carisle identifies as African American. Photo by Ellie Gottesman

Guest Writer

The following is a direct response from Mercer Island High School Principal Vicki Puckett following the release of an MIHS Islander article discussing the ethnic makeup of MIHS teaching staff.

It is really important to have a diverse staff for our students. Our world is not all white.

That being said, it is challenging to find diverse staff members, especially when it deals with racial diversity. In the hiring process, we try our best to recruit qualified applicants from different cultural backgrounds as well as racial backgrounds. Also, we try to recruit applicants for jobs who come from diverse ways of looking at the world we live in.

It is challenging to find such individuals who want to pursue a career in education. Some of what contributes to the challenge is the shortage of educators nationwide. The salary is not competitive to other professions with a college education required to be a teacher, counselor, or administrator. 

Mercer Island High School’s staff is more diverse than other staff in our school district. We have been very fortunate to hire staff members from racially and culturally rich backgrounds.

While our teaching staff is predominantly white, our classified staff is more diverse. My hope is that we can continue to search for and retain teachers of color every year when job openings happen.