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Monday, June 20, 2011

Principal Announcements (But What About Rainier Beach HS?)

The district has announced another round of principal/assistant principal appointments.  (I'll list those below.)  But what about Rainier Beach HS?  When we last left them, both of their current co-principals, Dr. Robert Gary and Lisa Escobar, were leaving to go to other posts (Interagency and Viewlands, respectively).

Nearly every other school who has been searching for a principal as far back as RBHS has found one.  It's not for lacking of trying because they did form a search committee and did interviews starting back in early April.  But they still haven't announced a principal appointment.

I've served on a principal search committee and it was very structured and, of course, that because you need to be completely fair to each applicant.  Same questions, from the same people, etc.  The district did an initial screening search to find candidates who would meet the criteria - both from their resume and the screening - to be a principal for SPS.

The main focuses for the committee were these:
  1. IB Experience
  2. Experience working in HS with a Diverse Demographics
  3. Strong Creativity and Vision
  4. Community Oriented
  5. A Collaborator
  6. Good fit for RBHS
However, according to RBHS PTSA leadership, during the committee process there were different people at different rounds.  Then a district employee showed up at one round but not another.   There was no community representation at the second round of interviews.  Different questions were asked.  The first round sent forward 1 of 3 candidates.  In the second round, no candidates were sent forward.

Then an e-mail came from the district stating they had to send forward the other 2 candidates because there had to be 3 (I recall this being the case when I was on a search committee and it seemed false because we didn't get that many candidates anyway).

You can imagine that the differing qualities of the rounds made these parents uncomfortable about the process. 

They have testified to the Board about this and they have repeatedly asked via e-mails when an announcement would be made.  All they seem to get is a lot of vague answers.

Here's what else the PTSA said:

Rainier Beach is a Transformation School.  We have passed the first phase of the IB Application and will begin the second phase this Summer.   A Principal is needed to keep this moving forward.
We were told that we had to have a Principal in Place by the end of June, now Dr. Enfield is dragging her feet.  We have forwarded our top candidates.  The first choice applicant has made it through the District's screening process and even has a background in IB, yet Dr. Enfield is holding up the process.   

It is odd that it has taken this long.   It is important for a school to know who their leader is before school ends.  It would be great to be able to introduce him or her before school lets out.  I have to wonder if they had fired Martin Floe, would it have taken this long to find a replacement for him?


The new appointments (some of these may be repeats):
  • Erika Ayer as the new principal for Daniel Bagley Elementary School.
  • Anitra Pinchback-Jones becomes principal of Rainier View Elementary
  • Kristina Bellamy-McClain as interim principal at Emerson Elementary. 
  • Amber Jenkins will be an assistant principal at Franklin High School.
  • Jim Slaid will be an assistant principal at Ballard High School.  
  • Meghan Geddes will be an assistant principal at Garfield High School
  • Carol Coram will be an assistant principal at Denny International Middle School.
  • Dan Golosman will be the assistant principal at Bryant Elementary
  • Dr. Neil Gerrans will be the assistant principal at Lawton Elementary
  • Steve Colmus will be the assistant principal at Gatewood Elementary School.*
  • Lisa Clayton will be the assistant principal at Pathfinder K-8.     
  • Sarah Morningstar will be the assistant principal at TOPS K-8
  • Jeanne Kuban will be the assistant principal at Kimball Elementary.

*Uh oh, look at this:

Mr. Colmus was the Founding Principal of KIPP TRUTH Academy in Dallas, Texas, one of 99 KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Schools across the country. Before opening KIPP TRUTH, where he served as principal for seven years, Mr. Colmus completed the KIPP School Leadership Program.  

42 comments:

SP said...

Arbor Heights new principal is Christy Collins (from Lake WA School District) according to a SPS release

Anonymous said...

More on Colmus and charters:

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20040205&slug=charter05

reader too

Josh Hayes said...

zowee, what a steaming pile that particular editorial was. Thanks, "reader too" - I only wish I hadn't been eating lunch when I read it. Ugh.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's a link.

Anonymous said...

Does it seem that there are attempts to have charter type schools in SPS even though WA State doesn't allow charters?

The SPS HW policy has changed so that individual schools set their own HW policy. The proposed attendance policy is more punitive and allows for less flexibility, plus it is being removed from Board review to become a "Superintendent Policy."

Some schools aready have uniforms. Then there's TFA...

Melissa Westbrook said...

So did Mr. Colmus think the time is ripe now? Hmm.

Maureen said...

About 90% of the way through that editorial, the author finally acknowledges the existance of Alternative schools. She says: And the district's current alternative-school offerings are so oversubscribed that they have almost no chance of getting their child in. The demand is clearly there, but the district has not responded.

So why is this article about charters and not about formalizing a process to open new alt schools? And why is Colmus at Gatewood and not at the New School (I believe they may be looking for a principal?) or possibly reopening a West Seattle K-5 as an alt school? Do charter advocates really not know alts exist, or do they see them as too community driven (chaotic?)? Has anyone out there ever asked?

Anonymous said...

reposting-accidentally posted to wrong thresd

Every person who comes from charter schools is not evil, is not aiming to take over our system which admittedly could use more attention to students who are underperforming. When I read your blog I hear cries for helping those who are behind with interventions. I have read plenty on various programs and this is what KIPP does so well. I read on here the complaints about TFAers only sticking around for 2 years. Here is a man who was at his KIPP school for over 10 years. Please give people a chance and don't assume everything is an evil plot to take over our broken system!

hope it works for Gatewood

RosieReader said...

Personally, I'd be curious about what Mr. Colmus has been up to since 2004. I think that's quite relevant to whether he's qualified for his position, not what he was thinking/doing 8 years ago.

seattle citizen said...

"When I read your blog I hear cries for helping those who are behind with interventions. I have read plenty on various programs and this is what KIPP does so well."

Yes, many here want support for INDIVIDUAL students who are struggling (just as many want support of INDIVIDUAL students who need more challenge in a particular subject) but my understanding of KIPP does not support the contention that this is what they do.
From their website:
"Over 80 percent of our students are from low-income families and eligible for the federal free or reduced-price meals program, and 95 percent are African American or Latino."
And this:
"a track record of preparing students in underserved communities"
Soi KIPP isn't looking at individual students, as I (and others) would prefer, KIPP intentionally locates its schools in ghettoes, and treats all of its students (grouped by KIPP economically and racially into generalized packets of "underserved" students) as if they are struggling and need KIPP's supposed magic (and, Anonymous 2:08, or Hope It Works for Gatewood, I'd like to see your sources for the claim that KIPP does this well.)
Some of us here on this blog would prefer that ALL students are served, struggling or not. Some of us recognize that students are not African American or Latino or White or Asian but just complicated children. Not poor, not wealthy, not this, not that, but each a unique individual.

So KIPP is not what I want to serve struggling students. I want all public school employees serving every student in every school.

I meank, what does KIPP mean when it says students are "underserved"?
Do they mean that some kids live in situations of poverty? Do they mean some schools don't serve the kids? What do they mean by THAT? Isn't that merely another version of teacher-bashing? Or another version of "publics don't serve students, but we can!"

I call BS. Show me the data that shows KIPP serves every student, from struggling in a subject or two all the way up to 4.0 in every subject; Kenyan/Oregonian/Scotch/German and Peruvian/Alabaman/Italian/Mexican; Son of recentluy laid off, daughter of generationally poor, grandson of old money...

Show me the research that KIPP provides all levels, "serves" all students, provides deep and enriching opportunity...and I might find KIPP a more attractive option.

SusanH said...

This delay makes me wonder if the district had intended to move Martin Floe to RBHS? (Or does fired really mean fired?). Seems like the qualifications are pretty stringent for this position, particularly the IB experience.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Hope it works, I appreciate what you are saying. But KIPP is a charter operation. Mr. Colmus came here years ago to open a charter-like school. It's not a big leap to wonder why he came back. And I think Maureen's take on this point is valid as well.

And by the way, evil is your word. Don't assign motives or words to people who don't use them. I have never called anyone who works for education - not LEV, the Alliance, the Gates Foundation, not even TFA, evil.

Susan, before the whole Ingraham issue, I had worried they would transfer Floe to RBHS and an assistant principal at Garfield with IB and APP experience to Ingraham.

basically said...

SusanH,
That makes sense except that when he was 'fired' they made it clear he would NOT be relocated in the district. Who the heck knows what they had planned.

Maureen said...

Part of my concern is that, under the New Student Assignment Plan, school choice is limited now. If a KIPP inspired school is to open in Seattle, I hope it will be an Option school with no mandatory assignments (like charter schools are elsewhere). I just noticed that Mr. Colmus will be the Assistant Principal at Gatewood, not the principal. It seems like he would be well positioned to open a new Option school at Fairmount Park next year.

RBHS PTSA Secretary said...

My message to the Interim Superintendent and the Board

Furthermore the students of Rainier Beach High School deserve more. After all the transition they have experienced throughout the school year, the least the district can do is openly communicate to the RBHS community who their next principal will be. How are we to increase enrollment when the school technically has no Administration in place?

Appointed/interim Superintendent & elected Board members seeking re-election,

I ask you to examine your core values as leaders in this district and decide if you are really part of the solution or part of the problem. Clearly immediate action is required on your part with regards to naming a principal for Rainier Beach high school. We started this process 10 weeks ago, April 7th to be exact and have two days remaining in the school year but to date no one has been presented as the leader of the school.

Board members,

The interim Superintendent is your only employee and let me remind you of Seattle Public Schools motto: "Every student achieving, everyone accountable" and that includes YOU. I expect you to hold the interim Superintendent accountable for the duties YOU appointed her to perform.

RBHS PTSA Secretary said...

And what about Rainier Beach high school. I honestly believe Dr. Enfield sees the top candidate for Principal at Rainier Beach as a threat. He met all the criteria and is working towards his Superintendent credentials..... Perhaps the interim Superintendent is afraid that Rainier Beach will be successful.

For the life of me I can't begin to comprehend how and why a decision has not been made. If an interim Principal is the plan then they have wasted a number of folks time, effort and energy.

This would not happen in the NE. Despite the districts blatant lack of attention, focus and resources for Rainier Beach we are servicing students from one of the most diverse zip codes in the nation, with 73% free and reduce lunch, 13.3% Special Education, 18.7% Transitional Bilingual. There is also a significant language and cultural challenge in approaching and engaging families.
Imagine if the district gave Rainier Beach High school a big hug and embraced the school in the same manner as Cleveland and Chief Sealth.
IB is a great opportunity for future students but for current students the IB program would only service 20% of students...what about the other 80%? This all makes me think of the "rumblings" about the school closing, then re-opening after the partial building remodel and just in time for the IB program to bloom but for who?

Anonymous said...

RBHS PTSA Secretary,

You and RBHS kids are in a tough place. You are isolated. You don't have parents with abilities to picket, show up at board meeting and fill out the comment section on this and othe media sites. If the discussion was centered on an issue at Ingrahm, Lowell, Lawton, or Wedgewood, there would be over 100 comments by now.

And that is the rub. I hope you can get others at your school to speak up and post at RVP and this blog. It is easy to be ignored when you are invisible. It hurts to write this because I came from similar demographics and it is a bitter thing that 40 years later, we still fight the same battle.

Whatever the district's plans (short and long term) may be, you deserve answers to your questions.

-looking for answers too!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Have you heard back from any board members re: missing RBHS principal? Suggest to post comments in the comment section of Dick Lilly's most recent SPS Crosscut piece. The right and smart people (Bill-ionaires) read it. Hey, and call in KUOW Phyllis Fletcher's "Paramount Duty" to ask/comment about this. Seems like it is of paramount duty our Super and highly valued HR admin find RBHS an experienced, decent, and qualified principal. (Maybe the soon to be ex-principal from Whitman?)

Lots of smart folks that write in here, what do you suggest to help RBHS folks get some answers?

-ps mom

Megan Mc said...

Re: getting the districts attention
Try to make media contacts and share your story. Go to election functions and director coffee's when they have them.. leave voice mail messages for the directors. Contact tangentally relevant people at the district because they have to forward your email to the powers that be since the decision rests with them. For example I would email the TIF person, the LAP person, communications head, head of human resources, the person in charge of school transformations. Emphasize that it is critical that a new principal meets with staff and families BEFORE summer break so that he/she understands the community better as he/she works on getting ready for the next year. If this doesn't happen, demand that teachers get a stipend to meet w/ the principal when ever he/she is appointed. Good luck with this. I recommend contacting the AS#1 community for support since they have a long history of successful battles against the district. There is an equity commmittee at the school that that also has a lot of contacts. Good luck!

seattle citizen said...

Repost of Anonymous 9:00 (parent at RB, please select a user name or simply sign your comment with a name you will use in future - this blog deletes anonymous, unsigned posts. Doesn't have to be a real name, just something we can all follow)
This bears saving, Anon 9:00's post:
As a parent of a Rainier Beach student, I do not understand why this process of hiring a new principal has taken so long. Historically, schools in southeast Seattle have been neglected and this is another example. The students, teachers, parents deserve more. This is a blatant disrespect to leave us in limbo not know what will happen next. The school district is trying to sabotage RBHS. There is no sense that the district wants RBHS to succeed. I can assure you this would not happen at Garfield, Roosevelt, Ballard, Ingraham etc. The arrogance and lack of support from the district is appalling. If there was not disparities amongst all schools we would not be in this position. I demand answer before school is out.

Seen It All Again, and Again said...

Seattle is and has been opening all kinds of new schools. We toured McDonald and Queen Anne this year. Both are working hard to move in their own unique directions, although money does help make everything look possible. Independence and creativity in schools is good. The issue for new schools is in time they lose their luster, their ability to maintain their focus, they lose their original pioneers. Not because of the SPS borg, but because people and staff change. Can you remember all the "new" schools that have started over the years? Remember when University Heights was a vibrant and exciting school. What about Montlake and the Schools for the 21st Century grant! John Morefield at Hawthorne hand selected his staff with special rules from SEA and SPS. Look at Bagley and its thriving community. Nathan Hale and Eric Benson created a wonderful positive environment built on working with people not churning out AP classes. And what about The Center School! SPS has a long history of accommodating and opening new school. All of these and many more have been started in SPS. All great schools, but it is the long term maintaining that is difficult, a long consistence in the same direction. The real issue is that all these school are built on people and people change. On the other hand, Kimball has a long history of excellence. Teachers and Admins have changed, but they remain an excellent school. Kimball is built on a culture of good teaching! In conclusion, there isn't a need for KIPP schools or TFA's, we have the creative minds already here.

Chris S. said...

RBHS PTSA Secretary,

Please contact Parents Across America - Seattle
seattle dot paa at gmail dot com.

We are a small but noisy group and we have been following your story. We believe in community and family input in school decision-making, and ONLY in reform that has been shown to work, long term.

If you have found a qualified principal you like, you should have him.

RBHS PTSA Secretary said...

Regarding Mr. Colmus.... He did interview for the Rainier Beach Principal position. During the interview process he talked himself out from being the bottom candidate to fully admitting that he did not have the skills for the job.
He was the individual who the district changed the first scheduled round of interviews for. We were not impressed by him, nor were the students who got to interview him as well. Furthermore Mr. Colmus's resume and application made no mention that he was a former SPS employee... I wonder why. Good luck Gatewood!

mommalina's grace said...

Thank you for the opportunity to bring RBHS to the frontlines again. The district has done a disservice to this cultural historical school by ignoring the students, parents and staff. Call me naïve but, I thought there was glimpse of hope when a new feisty and seeming sincere Interim Superintendent took on the grand job to rescue a dying school district. But what seems to be happening is she has taken on the same old habits and behaviors of her predecessor, to smile in your face but do exactly the opposite of what the people are asking. I am not sure how to even make it clearer. I do not see what the benefit of holding on to a decision that so desperately needs to be made. What is she protecting? I tell you the Interim Superintendent is becoming a mirror like presence of Maria Goodloe-Johnson. The ability to be a smile and wave like a beauty queen and then be brutally ruthless and uncaring when she walks away from the Southend. I ask you how is it that a principal can keep his job by a few days of media and some parents emailing but a MATH teacher cannot keep his job at RBHS with 140 student signatures, numerous parent and staff emails. TAKE this comparison into account…the amount of staff and students at Ingraham and compare it to the amount of staff and students at RBHS the percentage of outcry for their beloved prinicipal and our math teacher is the same but the needs and wants of the students, parents and staff of the South is ignored. We are basically given the standard answer “it is what it is and get over it.” The north is given preferential treatment and there are so many examples that it would take a 3 day speech to spell them out. But begin with Ingraham is having a second IB program added RBHS is begging for a program. continue...

mommalina's grace said...

When the north end community complained about the boundaries, the boundaries where changed in a blink, but when it was brought to the attention of the district to increase RBHS area of coverage due to the issue with RBHS given the Boeing air strip and the warehouse areas of north of Georgetown it is was ignored. And I will remind you enrollment never increased. “What happen Dr Libros?” When our South end students are busing to the north at a rate of about 1800 students crossing the line it does not even enter the minds of the district that this could be a cost saving if we where to equalize quality of the schools and have the students stay in their neighborhoods. I ask you how many more articles and how many more people does it take to tell the Seattle Public Schools open up their eyes, there is a problem and it does not start with the teachers or the students. It starts with the support from the District office. How many more $150k salaries are they going to waste by placing additional unnecessary administration into schools who need classroom support. Giving RBHS a second principal was one of the most wasteful, bully tactics that now will cost the school district more money. RBHS will have practically no staff after Friday. 100% of the Language Arts team gone, 100% of the Math team gone 75% of the Science team gone. And we can not even get a principal announced to begin preparation for next year. WHY? As a member of the Design Team for RBHS it has been my pleasure to sit in meetings and collaborate with community members, staff, parents and students and come together for the greater good of RBHS and make a plan of action to start the 2011-2012 school year running. But without a principal who will be dedicated to the school and who has been CHOSEN by the people, all of those hours we put in meetings and preparation work to tackle really tough items such as cultural competency, staff expectations, student expectations and a 48% allocation cut will be work that will be futile and have wasted more than 15 people’s time. Dr Enfield has basically said that it does not matter to The District of our timeline and the amount of work that is needed. Another bully tactic. Truly who is the gatekeeper in this institution. I remind all of you election time is coming and we need NEW leadership! Carlina Brown-RBHS PTSA President

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think part of the problems for Rainier Beach is all the churn. How many principals this past 3 years? Now they are getting another new regional director. How well do these folks (Desseault and Tolley) know the needs of the schools and the community? Is an IB program what Rainier Beach needs at this time? What about the SE Initative? Why did it failed and did SPS admin not learned something from that failure? This is not rocket science management. Can't SPS admin not see how the high turnover and latest educational fads do nothing for a community in need?

It is about hard work and sweat equity. This is a community in need of solid foundation first. Kids need a SAFE place to learn, they need an INFORMAL IEP that their teachers/counselors can used to help guide what these kids need from the first day they enter the doors to the day they leave. It is not about how many adults you can stuff in a building, but how well those adults serve these students (and are they allow to do so).

It should come as no surprise that SPS is having a tough time finding a sane, principled, experienced, and competent educator who want to take on a school that conveniently has served as Ed Reformer's poster child for all that has gone wrong in public education. This school needs a dedicated principal who has the heart and mind to stand and deliver and not disappear in a year or two. This school needs a principal that will put the interest of the students first and not that of his/her superiors. That is a very tough shoe to fill.

-ps mom

Anonymous said...

100% of LA team, 100% of math team, 75% of science team, all gone, and no principal??

Maybe you need to attend the Superintendent's town hall meeting being held today at South Shore, en masse.

Joint Town Hall with Superintendent Susan Enfield and Mayor Mike McGinn

6/21/2011 (5:30 PM - 7:30 PM)


reader too

mommalina's grace said...

Trust me WE will be there in our blazing orange and blue! We are preparing for battle. This will not go away with out a fight. The people of the South End have been nice, and cordial and allow different people come in with their promises. And we have given benefit of a doubt but now it it is about accountability and it is about equity. The time has ran out and it is showtime.

Please if you care about education come tonight to Southshore and wear orange and blue becuase what is happening to RBHS is a travesty and when they are done with RBHS they will move on to another victim.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"When the north end community complained about the boundaries, the boundaries where changed in a blink.."

What is this in reference to? What boundaries got changed?

The district is slowing overstuffing schools that work like Garfield, Lafayette and Lowell. It will slowly strangle those schools.

RBHS has been left slowly twisting in the wind for years and years. Build them a wonderful performing arts hall and given them no performing arts curriculum. (The district knows who to ask - Roosevelt has an outstanding program, both academically and performance-wise.) Broadway Bound Theater tried to come in but did the district truly support their efforts? The Technology Access Foundation tried to come in with an idea that the district could have done a LOT more to support and help the community see its benefits. It did not.

What is weird is that RBHS has never called for big initiatives like IB or STEM. What they want is a solid school with interventions and supports for their students AND the rigor you might find at any other high school. Why is this so hard? Why put in two principals and the SE Initiative, neither of which helped?

When will the district listen to the parents and community about what RBHS needs?

Or is it to be run into the ground so we can start these "transformation" schools and RBHS will be the first high school.

RBHS is not failing because of the students or the parents (everyone is accountable, yes, I get that). It's failing because it has not been managed well by the district.

So good schools are having issues and some low-performing schools get largely ignored. Again I say, if RBHS had the new building, Cleveland would be the one not being helped.

Charlie Mas said...

Here is some truth:

"if RBHS had the new building, Cleveland would be the one not being helped"

Why are all of the RBHS teachers leaving?

Why is it that the one math teacher who wants to stay got pushed out?

I'll be at Southshore tonight to hear it all.

mommalina's grace said...

When the boundaries where put in place approximately 2-3 years ago the was quite a bit grumbling and the district with the board approval allowed a change to enrollment and boundary lines. This made the expectation of 500-700 student enrollment in 2009-2010 school year be really just shy of 400.

mommalina's grace said...

Charlie, Some are leaving due to stress levels, some are leaving because they have been RIF'd and some are leaving because they where given a poor performance review. (granted given this by someone who was no longer welcomed in the building and had to finish their work down at the district office)! I am even ashamed to type this dysfunction! WE NEED A CHANGE!!!

Lara Thompson said...

As a parent of a RB student I am extremely concerned about the future of RBHS and the students that are currently enrolled in the school. I participated in the first Principal interviews in April and I was appalled at the way it seemed to be thrown together...interviewing someone on a district employees old Blackberry via speakerphone, while doing our best to have a dialogue with the candidate via Skype that stopped working. This was not the fault of the candidate, who indicated that he requested to fly in for the interview, but was told by the district that it was not necessary. The lack of clear communication from the district for parents, community, etc. to actively be apart of the interviewing process only continues the perception that RB parents, and community do not care about the school. My son and his friends have provided me with regular stories about how their soon-to-be former principal and several teachers worked long hours to teach/tutor and mentor each and every one of them. They are walking around in utter confusion of the consequences that the adults have placed upon them. The students have a right to know who will be their leader(s)next fall. How can we expect children/youth to learn when their school environment is in limbo?--Lara Thompson RB parent

mommalina's grace said...

WOW!!! another reason that this principal process has got to come to an end. Why would one principal fly in and pull himself out of the process because he feels he is not the right fit but lands a job anyway with another school. But another candidate offers to fly in and is told not necessary and he is still in limbo...Does this sound like a EEOC case in the making? If you have a candidate that was given high remarks by all and matches the criteria but does not get offered the job what would be the reasoning?

Anonymous said...

Rainier Beach struck a chord because it affects a good friend and her kids She is an immigrant who came to this country 30 years after I did. She can't speak here because her job is a 10 hour day, 6 days a week job. She has 2 very bright kids. Bright enough that I suggested to her to get them tested for AL and/or apply for the Rainier Scholar program. Anything to open up some choices for their future schooling.

Rainier Beach will be her eldest child NSAP HS after next year. My friend is afraid. She fears that the school is not safe. She fears that the academics are weak. She fears that her daughter who is very smart and has lived a restricted family life because their neighborhood is not so safe, will stray with the wrong crowd and loose her sight for college and scholarships. She wants her daughter to go to Garfield HS. She needs some good reasons to send her eldest to Rainier Beach.

-ps mom

RBHS PTSA Secretary said...

To PS mom,
Rainier Beach high school located on Henderson and the corner of Seward Park Avenue S. directly across the street from the lake and million dollar homes and condos IS A SAFE SCHOOL. It is the surrounding environment that needs to be "cleaned up". The media and the district loves to paint this image of Rainier Beach being this mad/crazy/scary place however the city and the district failed to provide a full time officer to be present on the corner of Rainier and Henderson. This is supposedly one of the most notorious corners in the city. It has been compared to 23rd Cherry but with the new remodel at Garfield came a full time officer to reinforce that the community would not stand for "riff-raff" near their school.
Trust me I am all to aware of the families who work night and day and cannot afford to miss even an hour of work to spend at Rainier Beach but I challenge them, you and the media to walk into the hallways of Rainier Beach high school then go stand on the corner of Rainier and Henderson it is night and day. Let me remind you there is both a K-8 school (South Shore, that I love) located on the corners of Rainier and Henderson as well as an Alternative high school (South Lake) located on Rainier Ave S and Cloverdale (I think)that for whatever reason do not get the same negative publicity. How strange.... We are actively trying to set the record straight on how safe the school is. If the district and the city was truly serious about this issue they would provide a full time officer to assist.

Melissa Westbrook said...

RBHS PTSA Secretary is right on this one.

"The media and the district loves to paint this image of Rainier Beach being this mad/crazy/scary place however the city and the district failed to provide a full time officer to be present on the corner of Rainier and Henderson."

The City is always going on about how to support schools. Well, the areas surrounding our schools are THEIR turf and if it brings issues to the schools, then they should address it.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know whatever happened to the men who assaulted the RBHS security guards as they trespassed on school property during the school day to intimidate girls who witnessed a shooting near the school? It sounded like the security guards knew the assaulters but it was unclear if SPD ever followed up.

http://seattlecrime.com/2011/03/16/three-men-show-up-to-rainier-beach-hs-looking-for-shooting-witnesses-assault-security

--Mid Beacon Hill mom

Anonymous said...

RBHS PTSA Secretary,

I believe you when you say Rainier Beach is a safe school. I think what my friend wants is another Garfield at Rainier Beach. My friend and her children will agree with you about South Shore. She is a protective mom and thus far, her kids have managed to stay out of trouble and do well in school. But she has also seen other members of her family making wrong choices and suffer bad consequences. She wants the best for her children just as I do living here in the northend. So how do we get there? I think picking the right principal would be a start.

-ps mom

RBHS PTSA Secretary said...

June 28, 2011

Dear Rainier Beach High School staff and community:

Today I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dwane Chappelle as principal of Rainier Beach High School.

Mr. Chappelle will bring energy, leadership and commitment to his role as Rainier Beach principal. He joins Seattle
Public Schools from the Arlington Independent School District in Texas, where he served as an Assistant Principal.

Mr. Chappelle has been in education for the past seven years and also served as Assistant Principal in the Plano
Independent School District, where he was also the Dean of Students. Mr. Chappelle started his career as a special
education teacher for the Richardson Independent School District in Texas. He received his principal certification from
Texas Women’s University, his Master’s in Secondary and Higher Education from Texas A&M and his Bachelor’s degree
from Grambling State University.

Mr. Chappelle also worked as a juvenile detention officer for Dallas County, helping detained youth and developing
programs in academics, group projects and life skills.

Mr. Chappelle said he considers it a privilege to serve the students and staff of Rainier Beach High School, as well as the
community. Within the next two weeks we also plan to announce an Assistant Principal for RBHS. I am confident that
with a strong team in place at Rainier Beach High School, we will see significant improvements.

I want to thank the work of the principal selection committee for interviewing candidates. For those of you who have
not yet had a chance to meet Mr. Chappelle, he starts next month and he is eager to meet all staff, students and
community members. Also, Executive Director of Schools Michael Tolley will work closely with Mr. Chappelle to ensure
every student at Rainier Beach receives an excellent education.

Sincerely,

Susan

Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

Lisa M. said...

The interim sup. hired a person from outside the city with ONLY seven years of education experience for one of our neediest schools?? This must be a joke!