Lisa Nolan selected as Deputy Superintendent for Tacoma Public Schools
Lisa Nolan

The School Board approved Dr. Lisa Nolan, current Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, as the new Deputy Superintendent starting July 1 for Tacoma Public Schools. Nolan will fill the vacant position created when Superintendent Garcia was promoted from Deputy Superintendent last July.

Garcia cited the expertise Nolan brings as part of the district leadership team and her long history in the Tacoma community as factors in her selection.

“Does Lisa know high-quality instruction? Yes. Does she understand the value of community partners? Of course. Does she set a positive example as a leader? Yes, she does. But what I appreciate most about Lisa is that she values relationships. She cares about people. She shows every day that we’re all better together as we work relentlessly to improve outcomes for kids,” said Superintendent Garcia.

The process to select the next deputy superintendent started in November 2021 and included input from a stakeholder group with representation from community partners, including Metro Parks, the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Education Association, and district leaders and staff.

“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve Tacoma students and staff in this new role,” said Dr. Nolan.

Nolan started her classroom teaching career at Manitou, Franklin, and Blix elementary schools and also taught special education. Her administrative career started at Sheridan Elementary as assistant principal, and she went on to become the principal at two elementary schools in the Puyallup School District for nine years.

It was only a matter of time before she would return to serve the students in Tacoma. 

“I treasure the history, the connections and passion for the people who make this district special,” she reflects and notes that she “will never take that for granted.”

As a dynamic, thoughtful, and effective leader in schools, Nolan saw how staff recruitment, development, and overall well-being was at the core of student success. In 2014, she was hired as the Director of Talent Recruitment and Development in TPS, and within a year was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. During this time, Nolan has worked tirelessly to establish and maintain a culture of respect, dignity, and inclusivity centered on the Whole Educator for the Whole Child.

Media Contact

Dan Voelpel, Executive Director of Communications | 253-571-1015 |

About Tacoma Schools

Tacoma Public Schools is the only district designated an Innovation Zone by Washington State. A leader in implementing innovative schools and programs to meet the diverse needs of every student, every day, TPS serves approximately 30,000 students from preschool to grade 12 and at nearly 5000 employees is one of the largest employers in Tacoma. Learn more...


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