Dr. Calvin Watts: A Seat in the Circle

Dr. Calvin Watts shares his personal approach to equity and inclusion in one of the nation’s most diverse school systems.

By SchoolCEO Last Updated: February 12, 2021


Dr. Calvin Watts of Washington’s Kent School District shares his personal approach to equity and inclusion in one of the nation’s most diverse school systems.


Dr. Calvin Watts often says, “My wife and I have 26,000 children, but only one who lives with us.” Needless to say, Watts leads Washington’s Kent School District with unrivaled passion.

The district serves students who speak over 130 languages, making it one of the most richly diverse school systems in the country—a huge source of pride for the Washington native. “There is not a classroom in any of our 42 schools where you will not see someone who doesn't look like you,” he says. “That’s the beauty of diversity. The challenge is ensuring equity, which we define as making sure students and families, and the adults who serve them, get what they need when they need it.”

Since stepping into the superintendency in 2015, Watts has devoted much of his time to promoting and nurturing equity in Kent schools. With a strong focus on community input and bringing students and families to the decision-making table, Watts is leading Kent into a new era of accountability, inclusiveness, and community.

In this episode, Dr. Watts discusses his dedication to serving all students, his approach to equity and inclusion in our turbulent times, and how he’s using his leadership role to create lasting change.

Dr. Calvin Watts (@SuptCalvinWatts)

Kent School District (@KentSchools415)

You can check out all of the books and resources Dr. Watts mentions in the episode below.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Children's Books:

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman

I Promise by Lebron James

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