Dear Seattle Public Schools staff,
Today I am delighted to announce several principal appointments. The following interim principals, currently serving at their schools, have been appointed principals after receiving input from their schools’ families and staff, and information from their mid-year performance evaluations:
Graham Hill Elementary: Walter Chen
Maple Elementary: Elena Sanchez
Lawton Elementary: Dorian Manza
Salmon Bay K-8 @ Monroe: Dr. Neil Gerrans
In addition, last week I also transferred and appointed Treena Sterk into the principalship of Eckstein Middle School, replacing Sherri Kokx who has taken a position in School Operations. Ms. Sterk’s move to Eckstein from her current position as principal at Cascade Parent Partnership Project has created an opening at Cascade. The district’s plan is to post and fill that position soon. In the meantime, retired principal Dr. Terry Meisenburg is serving as interim principal.
I also want to take this opportunity to review the principal appointment process in Seattle Public Schools. There are essentially four ways principals are appointed. One is to post an announcement and accept applications. In this case, qualified applicants are presented to the school. The executive director of schools and the school’s building leadership will create a committee and steps to screen those candidates down to three individuals who are presented to the superintendent. The superintendent then makes a decision and appointment.
Another way a principal is appointed is as a direct appointment to interim principal. This takes place when there is a need to have someone in place who can maintain momentum in a school and minimize disruptions, not allowing time for typical school community input. In these instances, the superintendent makes an interim appointment.
A third way is to appoint an interim principal as principal. This is done after building leadership has had sufficient time to review the interim’s performance, compare their performance to the school community’s desired attributes in a principal, and gather community input. This feedback is considered in the superintendent’s decision to make the appointment.
The fourth way is for the superintendent to make a direct appointment of a principal through transfer. In these cases, the superintendent appoints a principal based on desired attributes gathered from the school community.
Please join me in congratulating Mr. Chen, Ms. Sanchez, Mr. Manza, Dr. Gerrans, Ms. Sterk and Dr. Meisenburg in their appointments. Thank you for your dedicated professionalism and service to our schools and students.
Seattle Public Schools