Friday, June 24, 2011

Tick Tock - Where's the Announcement of the Rainier Beach Principal?

Dr. Enfield has said, via both e-mail and in person, that Rainier Beach High School would receive an announcement of who their new principal is for the fall by today.  (She really said this week but since it is Friday at 4:27 p.m., I'm thinking 4:59 pm would be the cut-off time for this week.)

If you are part of the Rainier Beach community, let us know if she sent only the community an announcement (rather than sending out a press release).

Update:  it's now 4:45 p.m.  Still no news.


Charlie Mas said...

5:24 and still no news.

Jan said...

Hmm. Maybe they are all working late to justify those fine new salary increases?

According to the District calendar (assuming it is correct), Betty Patu is having a community coffee hour tomorrow, from 10 to noon, at 4400 Rainier Avenue South (corner of Rainier & Genesee) location: Tully's Coffee.

Might be a good chance for SE parents/citizens to stop in and register their concern with the status of RBHS's principal?

Melissa Westbrook said...

From Michael Tolley:

As I mentioned in our meeting yesterday, the district offered the position of Rainier Beach High School principal to one of the four top candidates from our search. We are waiting to hear if this candidate accepted the position. I think we can all appreciate that deliberating a job change involves a series of discussions with the district and with the candidate’s family.

I know we anticipated a final appointment this week. At this point in the day, I do not believe that will happen. I apologize for the delay. We hope to have some good news for you on Monday. As soon we know the status of the offer, I will let you know.

Thank you for your patience. I understand and appreciate that you are all eager to know who will be the next principal of Rainier Beach High School.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

seattle citizen said...

hmm, I heard through the grapevine that that offer was was declined by the candidate...but that's pure heresay.

Charlie Mas said...

So does this count against Dr. Enfield or not? She said that she would name the principal for Rainier Beach High School this week and she didn't. But could she, should she, have anticipated the preferred candidate delaying a response?

Anonymous said...

Did Dr E wait until the last minute to offer the position, perhaps thinking that the candidate offered the position would jump at the chance? Is this yet another example of management with lack of foresight? Gee, what if I don't get an immediate response? What if that response is to decline the offer? Maybe Dr E didn't realize that offering the position to a candidate is not the same thing as naming a new principal.


Melissa Westbrook said...

I think it absolutely counts against her. Look, they have been interviewing since April. You tell candidates, at some point, "we have a responsibility to the community so we will need your decision by X date." It happens all the time.

Who deserves more respect - the candidate or the community?

I vote community.

Summercold said...

Have none of you ever heard of a candidate changing their mind at the last minute? I have. I once got a job because the first choice person dropped out. So have any number of people I know.

If you expect someone is going to come in and sign papers then they don't, how is that your fault? I don't get it-you wanted a principal to be named, they had someone in mind, the person changed the timeline. This happens ALL THE TIME.

I disagree with a lot this district is doing, but would you complain if the person chosen took the job and then realized it wasn't for them-would THAT too, be the district's fault? Or what if no one chose it? Would THAT TOO be the district's fault? And of course, the worst thing they could have done was to name someone just to have a name by the deadline.

They promised an answer by then end of the day FRiday and you got one. It wasn't the one they'd expected to have, but they gave you the answer. It looks like there's simply nothing that makes you people happy.

Anonymous said...

Well, Summercold, of course I've heard of people changing their mind at the last minute - Has Dr. Enfield? Because if she is aware of that sort of last minute change, and if she has promised the announcement of the position, one might think that consideration of those "bumps in the road" would have been made in the timeline for decisionmaking.


Anonymous said...


they're not trying to invent a stargate to travel the galaxy or the universe. time is part of life, too bad the college educated manager class can't figure that out as they're too busy justifying their inconsequential existences and their idiotic processes.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Summercold, yes, you have a point.

But the real point is how RBHS has been jerked around and put off and told to wait, time and time again, for YEARS. They are pretty sensitive to this kind of stuff and you'd think the district could do everything they can to avoid this situation.

dan dempsey said...

Humm ... well if the timeline had been followed all this would have happened about a month ago. So Mr. Tolley is more than a day late with all this. He is about a month late.

Promises, promises, timelines timelines.... let us give everyone involved a raise ... for this fine dedication to "getting it right".

Is TfA rolling yet? Are they ready to be interviewed? See there was no need for a principal yet. It is all about an appropriate timeline.

So how involved was the SE community in the IB proposal ... what has happened to proposing a fix for k-12 education's struggling students?

Charlie Mas said...

Did Dr. Enfield promise an announcement - any announcement - or did she promise that she would be announcing the new principal?

If this is something that happens all the time, then we couldn't really say that it was unforeseen. Again, the District doesn't plan for contingencies.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Dr. Enfield (e-mail June 17):

"I have met with the candidates you sent forward and will be making a final decision next week. I will be sure to contact you before any public announcement is made."

At the Town Hall:

"I have promised a decision to you."

Both times the word was decision, not announcement.

Terrence J. Menage, Ed.D. said...

This type thing may happen all the time in the Seattle Public Schools, but it certainly does not happen in functioning and well managed school districts.

Candidates are screened, the most qualified are brought in for interviews, the process is followed with a timeline and the top candidate is offered the position. The candidate selected is notified of job offer, in the event the candidate asks for time to make decision to accept or decline job offer the district informs the candidate that a decision is needed by a certain day and time.

This is truly another example of how sloppy this district is being managed and operates. In the event the school in question was Garfield or Roosevelt or even Ballard for that matter, would the district stumble along in the same manner? The fact that this is how the principal selection for Rainier Beach is being handled is totally unacceptable.

It does appear that some in our community have accepted the diminished expectations of our public schools and district operations. Truly a shame and contributes to the problem of holding low expectations of some students in the district; in my career I have found evidence that supports the research findings that students will directly respond to the expectation levels of adults in the learning community. Maintain high expectations and standards and students respond positively with higher performance levels, maintain low expectations and standards and students respond accordingly.

Let's clean up district headquarters and bring an end to the ineffective and substandard management.



Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of the general decision making process at district but I don't think this can be laid at their feet.

Think about the job on offer: Same pay as a school that already runs well. Out of control safety issues that caused a staff exodus yet with pressure to reduce the amount of disciplinary paperwork? Students coming in several grades below norm and no solid interventions? A community that has abandoned it long ago. No vision for fixing it and no funds to support a vision that a new principal may bring in with it? A hollow promise of IB which costs over 100k that will come from...where?

No doubt the applicant thought better of it. Would you take it?


Terrence J. Menage, Ed.D. said...


Although I do not agree with all of the details you have used to paint the RBHS picture, challenges exist in schools throughout our city, state and nation. I do agree that many capable and experienced administrators would not accept an offer at the more challenging schools, there are many that would accept the opportunity.

Any person that applies for a principal position needs to understand the school for which they are applying, and fortunately most do their homework to gain solid appreciation and understanding. The district headquarters administration is responsible for the process to fill this vacancy; headquarters needs to be held accountable for fumbling along with this as with other decisions. We must not make excuses or shield headquarters directors and managers from being held accountable and responsible for their actions.


Jan said...

Terrence and Melissa (and Charlie, I think, if I understand his position): I differ from your view on this (for a minute, I thought maybe I agreed with Summercold, but that snippy "It looks like there is simply nothing that makes you people happy" comment at the end made it clear that wherever I am, it is not where Summercold is --

Here is what I think:

To the extent the promise was for a filled position by Friday, Dr. E should not have committed to what she could not control (and the "price" of control -- cutting loose someone she may think is a really great fit for a really challenging situation -- might have been too high). BUT, that said -- two things.
First, she is still fairly new at this, and I think she made the commitment in good faith, even if maybe she shouldn't have (whereas, I think often, the District is guilty of making promises it has absolutely no intent of ever ever doing anything about -- they are willful lies).
Second, no school is more in need of a home run here (or even a base hit) than RBHS. If she found someone, but that person needed/wanted more time -- I for one would happily bargain away the deadline for the chance at getting a really solid principal. However, in that case, I would have communicated it earlier then M. Tolley did -- I would have said that an offer had gone out on whatever day it did -- and that while the District was hopeful of a decision by Friday (assuming they were), they were prepared to give the candidate some additional time, - or whatever the deal is. I guess I just would have communicated the process more, and more timely. Because, the delay is bad, but sticking someone in there who isn't the right person is worse. Of course, had she asked for a committee of RBHS parents/staff to work with her and Tolley on this decision, and they were all working together for a decision that was to be supported by the RBHS community, none of this would have even come up, because some nice, involved community person could have put the word out much earlier that they had a great potential candidate and wanted to give him/her more time to consider the offer, etc. etc. etc.

The real problem here is not Friday's deadline -- it is the failure to have done this whole thing much earlier. But I continue to think that Dr. E., unlike MGJ, (a) would LIKE to do better (as opposed to not giving a S###, which was MGJ's position, and (b) is capable of learning and changing (which MGJ was not -- because she thought she was just fine as she was, and all the problems were just stupid grumbling by the riff raff). I hope I am right.

Sahila said...

What is this american thingy with writing one's name including the middle initial, and with one's educational qualifications at the end of the name, and sometimes whether or not one is the second, third or fourth generation with the name!

Is this some kind of ranking system I am not familiar with?

There are other posters here who have PhDs, but I didnt find that out until I had known them for two years, and then only because I saw that person's honorific on a paper!

Terrence J. Menage, Ed.D. said...

Points taken and I appreciate and understand your perspective/view of this matter. As I am opposed to our schools being used as laboratories for reform initiatives and/or some theory from higher ed, I am equally opposed to our district being used as training ground for an educator's career aspirations. If the interim superintendent is too new to this work to adequately handle the hiring of a principal, the job is too much to perform with a light resume.

Agree that community involvement would have helped greatly, but the leader retains some of the management approaches of the previous superintendent and it shows here.

proud redneck said...


America is the greatest nation on earth for many reasons! Gotta love it....you've stumbled onto one of them.

Proud American said...


America is the land of the free, free to be individuals.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with much of what makes our country so beautiful with rich cultural traditions....your comment does appear to be rather off topic, but I wish you the best in becoming educated about our great country.

Anonymous said...

A Mr. Chappelle was just appointed. Former juvenile corrections officer and special education teacher. Seems a good mix of skills for RBHS. Good luck to him.