Jolynn  Washington

Jolynn Washington

Director of Pupil Services

San Francisco Unified School District

San Francisco, CA USA

You need empathy and the ability to understand that each person has their own story. Be kind.


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I started working in Account Management right after high school. Had to work through college with having kids as well at this time.
I had the opportunity to work as both a Special Ed. & General Ed. paraprofessional. I observed & learned from teachers while working with students. This job also allowed me to be with my own kids.
I briefly became an Elementary Advisor, but with family support, I started my journey of becoming a teacher. When HR didn't help emergency cred. renewal, I went straight to Sacramento CDE & got it!
I had the opportunity to be a primary grade teacher at a couple of schools but ultimately wanted to return to Jose Ortega Elementary where I began as a paraprofessional.
After teaching, I had a chance with different roles as a Reading Recovery Teacher which helped me learn how to support my own daughter.
I then took a position as an SFUSD Literacy Coach and worked at the school I began at.
I decided to take the California Administrators Exam and became a School Principal at Jose Ortega Elementary School where I would stay for 10 years.
I took a sabbatical to renew & refresh and joined the Office of Pupil Services, first as a Behavior Coach, then a Supervisor and eventually, my current role as Director of Pupil Services.
Keep following my journey


Director of Pupil Services

I support students, families & schools with attendance building, school climate and suspensions & expulsions.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

Especially during COVID-19 times, slowing down & being empathetic is key. Redesigning divisions & leadership along with working with Office of Pupil Services, I am meeting regularly with up to 7 different teams. The work includes listening to their needs & feedback and to provide the support they need during these times. I provide professional development to help staff grow and use my social capital to support their needs.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Identify what you love, the people who support you and then create a vision board for yourself.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:


The Noise I Shed

"The only time I faced discouraging words was from a new Supervisor (after a variety of changing supervisors). This person would say things that would affect my mental health."

Challenges I Overcame

Racial Discrimination