Board Selects Kuss-Cybula as New Superintendent

  • The Oak Harbor Public Schools Board of Directors selected Michelle Kuss-Cybula to be its next superintendent during a special meeting on Friday, March 4. In an upcoming meeting, the Board will begin negotiations with Kuss-Cybula with an expected start date of July 1, 2022.  Interim Superintendent Karst Brandsma will remain as the district leader until his contract ends on June 30, 2022. 


    “It’s a tremendous honor to be selected as the next Superintendent of Oak Harbor Public Schools,” Kuss-Cybula said. “I’m excited to help carry the baton of the incredible work being done every day in our classrooms by our students and staff. Oak Harbor is an amazing place, and my husband and I are excited to call it home.”

    Kuss-Cybula was one of three finalists along with Dwight Lundstrom, Assistant Superintendent of Oak Harbor Public Schools, and Dr. Kimberlee Armstrong, Associate Superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools.  Each candidate spent an entire day with the district meeting with students, parents, staff, administrators, and community members. 

    “We are excited to welcome Michelle to our community,” Board President John Diamond said. “The Board was incredibly impressed with her 30 years of educational leadership and her vast knowledge of our district. This was one of the most difficult decisions because of how deep our applicant pool was, and we feel strongly we have selected the best candidate to lead Oak Harbor Public Schools.”

Finalist | Michelle Kuss-Cybula



    Superintendent Certification  - Western Washington University
    Administrative Certificate - Portland State University
    Master of Science - State University of New York at Oswego
    Bachelor of Science - State University of New York at Buffalo

    Superintendent- Cle Elum-Roslyn School District
    Principal - Sehome High School (Bellingham)
    Director of Teaching and Learning - Bellingham Public Schools
    Principal - Fairhaven Middle School (Bellingham), Cascade Middle School (Sedro-Woolley)
    Assistant Principal - Sedro-Woolley High School, (Planning Principal) West Salem High School (Salem-Keizer)
    Art Teacher - Phoenix High School, Syracuse City

    Growing up in a small town in upstate New York is where Mrs. Kuss-Cybula’s passion for equity in education began. Since then, Michelle has served over 30 years in public education. Michelle is unapologetic when it comes to advocating and promoting the individual success of each and every student. 

    Serving as the superintendent in Cle Elum-Roslyn since 2019, Michelle created the district’s strategic plan that is focused on ensuring inclusivity and equitable access so that all students can receive the academic and social-emotional support they need to be successful.  

    Michelle’s previous role was with the Bellingham Public Schools serving the role of Director of  Teaching where she led, created, and implemented systems of support for high levels of academic achievement district-wide. At Sehome High School, Michelle served as the principal and lead construction and design project manager for the new high school. Michelle’s  Bellingham experience also included serving as the principal of Fairhaven Middle School and the instructional coach for secondary school administrators.  

    Michelle’s teaching career started in the Syracuse City School District in New York. In 2001,  Michelle became an administrator in the Salem-Keizer School District in Salem, OR.  

    Michelle graduated from Buffalo State University with a bachelors of science in education and earned her masters degree in curriculum and instruction from Oswego State University; she is currently working to complete her doctorate from Western Washington University. Michelle earned her principal certification from Portland State University and superintendent certification from Western Washington University. 

    Mrs. Kuss-Cybula is a WA state instructional framework trainer for UW CEL 5D and former adjunct professor for Western Washington University. She was named Outstanding Leader in  2019 and WASA Regional middle school principal of the year in 2009. 

    As an outdoor enthusiast, Michelle enjoys running, riding her horse, and cycling. She and her husband are proud parents of two grown daughters, Abby and Izzy.