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Originally published Friday, February 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM

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Bellevue schools to Susan Enfield: We like you, too

Bellevue School District votes to tell Susan Enfield she's a strong candidate to become the new superintendent.

Seattle Times education reporter

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The Bellevue School Board voted Friday morning to officially notify Susan Enfield that she is a "strong candidate" for the superintendent vacancy and that it will consider accelerating the search process to accommodate her.

The accelerated interview process would not begin until a pair of community meetings next week, Bellevue School District spokeswoman Jacque Coe said.

Enfield, the interim superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, notified Bellevue officials about her interest in the position on Feb. 1 — the day after their superintendent, Amalia Cudeiro, announced she was resigning to be with her ailing mother in California.

Bellevue officials believe Enfield is being recruited to apply for superintendent vacancies in several schools districts across the country and region, said Coe, although she declined to say why they think that.

Coe mentioned the opening in Puyallup School District. A spokeswoman for that district said she was not authorized to talk about potential candidates.

Enfield is believed to want to stay in the Pacific Northwest.

She has temporarily served in Seattle's top job since last March, when the Seattle School Board fired former Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson after a financial scandal. Before that, Enfield was the district's chief academic officer.

She took the chief academic officer job in July 2009 — four months after barely losing out to Cudeiro for Bellevue's then-open superintendent job.

Enfield and Cudeiro attended the same superintendent-preparation program and were close friends who apparently talked about Bellevue's superintendency before Cudeiro announced her resignation.

The community meetings are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Wilburton Center Board Room, 12241 Main St.; and 7 p.m. Thursday at Sammamish High School, 100 140th Ave. S.E.

Brian M. Rosenthal: 206-464-3195 or brosenthal@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @brianmrosenthal.

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