King to Detroit by Monday?

From the Times:

Although he hasn’t told his boss or his school, it appears that Lowell Elementary Principal Gregory King is moving to Detroit to work for former Seattle Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. A spokeswoman for Michigan’s Education Achievement System, where Goodloe-Johnson is the top academic officer, confirmed Monday that King is under contract to start there as a principal next week.

SPS says they have no official letter of resignation. Talk about burning bridges; it seems Mr. King really doesn't care what SPS thinks. (And yes, this is news. Lowell will be getting a new principal.)


Patrick said…
They deserve each other.

Feel sorry for Detroit kids, though.
Jan said…
It seems especially astonishing given the glowing letters of recommendation that the District was willing to write for King when he was trying to escape to Tacoma. Pretty astonishing way to repay a District that went out on a limb for him! If it is true, though, I am happy for Mr. Banda, as he won't have to deal with that problem.

Hmm. If it's true, I wonder what Erik T, Gregory King's staunch defender, will think of his hero's manner of leavetaking?
Gross said…
Birds of a feather flock together.
What will the future hold? I shutter to think.
Anonymous said…
Good Riddance. I hope he and Maria will be very happy together.

Tired and Annoyed in Seattle.
Anonymous said…
And here's one more. This evening we received a robo-call that Principal Carter is leaving Hamilton, heading to Mercer Island.

Is this kind of principal turnover common in large school districts, or is another symptom of larger SPS dysfunction?

Anonymous said…
Chris Carter is going to Mercer Middle School in Seattle.

Seattle Teacher
Anonymous said…
All SPS administrators have one year contracts that expire June 30. The district has to take certain actions under specifc timelines to not renew that but the administrator is free to walk away at the end of June. Keep on mind that Mr King may very well have taken legal action against SPS for how they handled his Tacoma application (giving glowing letters and not disclosing to Taccoma the existence of an investigation that once it came to light causes Tacona to pull their offer) and that there could be more going on between attorney than what Whippel is saying.

Anonymous said…
Breathing a sigh of relief for Seattle, but concerned about Detroit.

-it's about time
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the correction, Seattle Teacher. Yes, I meant Mr. Carters is off to Mercer Middle, but my fingers had other plans. :)

Anonymous said…
Where is this news coming from? How do we verify it?
Anonymous said…
According to the Times article, a spokesperson from Detroit confirmed he has a signed contract and the spokesperson for SPS confirmed there was no lettr of resignation.
-also wondering
Anonymous said…
I can't find any article can you post a link please?
- wondering
seattle citizen said…
Jen Benkovitz will be the principal at Salmon Bay K-8 School. Dr. Benkovitz has been principal at Hillsborough Elementary School in Hillsborough, North Carolina. She brings more than 15 years of experience as an educator in North Carolina, serving in principal and assistant principal roles. Previously Ms. Benkovitz taught third through fifth grade at Oaklawn Elementary Magnet School of Math, Science and Technology.
· Chris Carter will be the principal at Asa Mercer Middle School. He comes to Mercer after serving as principal at Hamilton International Middle School since 2009. Previously, he was principal at SPS’s African American Academy and was assistant principal at Pacific Middle School in Highline. Mr. Carter, who began his teaching career in Long Beach, Calif., also taught and served as house administrator at Asa Mercer. He is delighted to be returning to Mercer as principal.
· Julie Cox will be the principal at Catharine Blaine K-8 School, where she has been serving as the interim assistant principal. Previously she served in many educational positions, most recently as literary coach at Hmong International Academy in Minneapolis. She has also been in leadership roles at schools in Mumbai, India; Amman, Jordan; and St. Paul, Minn. She was an elementary teacher at Viewlands Elementary from 1986-1993.
· Neil Gerrans is the new principal at Lawton Elementary School. Dr. Gerrans stepped into the role of interim principal in October after serving as the assistant principal. Prior to arriving at Lawton, he taught grades 1-4 in the Renton School District from 2003-2011. Before Dr. Gerrans went back to school to become a certified teacher, he worked at the management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company and was a research assistant in computational electromagnetics at Carnegie Mellon.
· Shauna Heath will be the principal at Lafayette Elementary School. She has been the principal at Sunrise Elementary in Kent for the past two years. Ms. Heath previously was assistant principal at Tillicum Middle School in Bellevue, an elementary principal in Tennessee and a middle school principal in Georgia. She also served as the pre-K through 5th grade instructional services director in Decatur, Georgia. Ms. Heath began her career as a special education teacher in Alaska and in the Shelton School District.
· Helen Joung is co-principal at Olympic Hills Elementary School, joining current principal Zoe Jenkins, who will move to half-time co-principal. Ms. Joung comes to Olympic Hills from Emerson Elementary in Everett, where she was assistant principal. Previously, she served as an educational assistant and building math coach in the Highline district, taught third grade in New Jersey, and was a clinical faculty member at Montclair State University.
· Chris Kinsey is the new principal at Chief Sealth International High School, after serving as interim principal since August 2011. Mr. Kinsey started his career in 1999 as a seventh-grade classroom teacher at Meany Middle School and also served as the dean and administrative intern for Pathways at Nathan Hale High School. He was the house administrator at Eckstein Middle School and an assistant principal at Cleveland High School, where he helped plan and implement the STEM program.
· Krista Bellamy-McClain is the new principal at Emerson Elementary, where she has been serving as interim principal since last July. Before coming to Emerson, Ms. Bellamy-McClain was an assistant principal at Denny International Middle School. Prior to her work at Denny, she was an elementary school principal and teacher in the Anchorage School District. She also served as a school director for a six-week summer school in inner city Los Angeles.
seattle citizen said…
Shannon McKinney is the principal at the new K-5 STEM School at Boren. She comes from Tucson, Ariz., where she was the turnaround principal for Hohokam Middle School. Dr. McKinney brings more than 22 years of educational experience, serving in two assistant principal roles in the Amphitheater School District in Tucson. Previously Dr. McKinney taught math to secondary students for 10 years, and she also served as Tucson’s mathematics coordinator.
· Laurie Morrison will be the principal at Graham Hill Elementary. She has been the assistant principal and director of Early Learning at South Shore PreK-8 since 2010. Dr. Morrison began her educational career as assistant director of K-12 Special Education at Northwest’s Child and has held positions with SPS in early learning, literacy and teaching as well as serving as an instructional coach for reading and a STAR mentor for the teacher induction program. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member for the teacher education program at the UW campuses in Bothell and Seattle. She earned a doctorate in education from the University of Washington.
· Chanda Oatis is the new principal at Alki Elementary, where she has been serving as interim principal since October 2011. Ms. Oatis came to Alki from Denny International Middle School, where she was an assistant principal. Ms. Oatis has also served as assistant principal/literacy coach, with training from the Teachers’ College Reading and Writing Project.

· Michelle Ota will be the principal at Viewlands Elementary School. She comes to Viewlands from Salmon Bay K-8, where she has been assistant principal since 2007. Ms. Ota has been with Seattle Public Schools since 1989, serving as a professional development coordinator and a STAR mentor. She has taught language arts/social studies at both TOPS and the Spectrum program at Washington Middle School.
· Katie Pearl will be the principal at B.F. Day Elementary School, moving from her post as assistant principal at Mercer Middle School. Ms. Pearl was also a house administrator at Mercer and has taught special education at both Mercer and at Briggs Elementary in the Bronx, New York.
· Sandra Powell will be the principal at Olympic View Elementary, after serving as assistant principal at Nathan Hale High School. Prior to coming to Seattle, Ms. Powell was principal at Doris M. Johnson High School of Law and Leadership in Baltimore, Md. She brings more than 15 years of education experience in Maryland, New York and the Peoples Republic of China, and she was a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey.
· Chris Scott will be the principal at TOPS K-8 School. Dr. Scott comes to TOPS from Raleigh, N.C., where he was the principal of a gifted and talented magnet school. Dr. Scott earned his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he focused on social justice and equity in public education and conducted research addressing educational opportunities of American Indian students.
· Melissa Schweitzer will be the principal at Whittier Elementary, after serving as the assistant principal at Whitman Middle School. Ms. Schweitzer previously worked as an instructional coach for the district for three years and as a special education teacher at Meany Middle School for five years. She has also been a special education teacher at the Seattle Children’s Home.
· Po-Yuk Tang is the new principal at Van Asselt Elementary, where she has been interim principal since March. Prior to her appointment as interim principal, Ms. Tang served as assistant principal at Van Asselt for 12 years. Previously, she was the on-site summer school administrator and served an administrative internship at Tulalip Elementary. She began her career as a teacher at Tulalip Elementary in 2000, first teaching visual arts and then teaching on special assignment.
Anonymous said…

It's about 5 stories down in "The Today File". If the link does not work, scroll down the Times web page and click on "more".

-also wondering
Anonymous said…
This is what verifies he is leaving (or should be):
-Being completely checked out from school the past year and even more the past few weeks
-not showing at 5th grade graduation
-not showing on the last day of school
-not showing at the art fundraiser
-and basically not being present at field day
-passing off discipline to other teachers
-passing off many administrative responsibilities to others
-unanswered emails....

Meanwhile the staff and community we're asked by him why we haven't been backing him up on this site...

This is why:
-we are teaching every single day
-we are planning and purchasing curriculums
-we are planning school events
-we are planning school assemblies
-we are meeting before school and after school to plan how we can better serve these students academically, socially, and behaviorally.
-and lastly... We are abviously PRESENT and our integrity matters to us. We believe in this school, our students, our teachers, and community. Lowell Elementary is THRIVING and alive thanks to the TEACHERS and STAFF. Support oozes from this school community and that is why Lowell is amazing. Not because of an administrator. If Greg King leaves it is with his own right and Lowell will remain strong and vibrant. This is not to say Greg has not been a positive influence prior to this present time, this is just to say that Lowell... Will... Be.... Ok.. Because we are a strong school with or without his leadership.

Lowell is OK
Anonymous said…
Lowell is OK

Many of us would hit the "like" button if there were one. Thanks for all you do.

Supports Lowell staff
I added the link in the main thread.

Julie Cox from Hmong International Academy in Minneapolis - that's a charter school.

Mr King didn't go to 5th grade graduation or the last day of school? I rarely name-call here but what a jerk.

Bless you Lowell staff. You hung in there, focused on the students and you have your school still intact.
SkritchD said…
Hopefully he will tell the district before next school year as they still seem to be in the dark he is leaving even though it was MI news last month. Sort of fitting end to this story, though. Only need to name a successor before all can move on from this mess.
Anonymous said…
And C1 and I received an apology from the Board for the "unwarranted investigation" we were subject to. Not exactly complete justice, but partial justice is better than no justice.

Linh-Co said…
Does anyone know who will be assigned to Hamilton? Are they doing interviews right now?
Anonymous said…
From Hamilton's Website:

News and Events
A Leadership Change at Hamilton

Dear Hamilton International Middle School Community,

I’m writing today to let you know I have news that is both bittersweet and exciting for me. I am leaving to take a position as principal at Mercer Middle School – a school where I taught for five years earlier in my career.

Hamilton International is a vibrant and warm community, and I will miss you all. It has been an honor to serve as your principal. I am proud of the accomplishments we have made at HIMS during my three years, including:

In the midst of many changes in the spring of 2009, we have been able to successfully integrate and build upon the range of programs we provide HIMS students. This includes our incredibly exciting music and international arts program, our world language program, and the services we provide our students in advanced learning, general education, and inclusion for our students with special needs. All of which are resulting in achievement and success for all students.
We have been recognized as a School of Distinction for the past two consecutive years.
Our teams of teachers are working collaboratively in support of the needs of all of our students by closely aligning instructional and assessment practices.
We moved into a new facility and have grown to well over 900 students.

Marni Campbell, Executive Director of Schools for the Northwest Region, will be overseeing the process for finding your next principal. Hamilton has an amazing reputation and I am confident you will find a strong leader to start the new school year. In addition, Hamilton has a strong administrative team and teacher leaders who will continue to move the school forward.

I look forward to helping in the transition in whatever way I can. I hope to hear about the great things all of our students are accomplishing in the future! Thank you for your continued support of your student and our staff at Hamilton International Middle School.


Christopher Carter
Hamilton Middle School

-- Ebenezer
Anonymous said…

An apology from the Board from what I know is very rare. I am happy that you received at least this small concession.

Not justice for the SpecEd students and the mistreatment they received. Not justice for your loss of employment that Mr. King was able to avoid in similar circumstance. He tendered his resignation and was then able to rescind it. You were not.

Mr. King is exhibiting extremely poor judgment in not giving notice to his current employer. He must foolishly believe that MGJ will always be there to save him.

Might his current very public display of poor judgment be an exhibit of his decision making methods?

SPSLeaks said…
Jennifer, I'm happy to post that unusual letter of "apology" from our board...
Hamilton parent said…
Regarding all the principals being rotated around, how and when do they decide who the new principal will be - is that something that is already pre-determined by the time they announce the current principal's departure? And why does it seem like some schools have a hand in choosing their new principal, while others just get appointed without any parent input? Who actually makes the decision?
Anonymous said…
I would say that his presence hasn't been anywhere near impediment at best and an unmovable obstacle at worst. He was so checked out that he wasn't making the decisions that would have bettered the school. All he needed to do, in many instances, was just nod his head. Instead, he was nowhere to be found and unresponsive.

I Agree with everything Lowell is OK said with that exception. Not to mention his continued intimidation tactics. Bullied and broke down many of our best and most actively involved staff--I'm glad to say most of them outlasted his outdated control-monger tactics. We will miss the ones that are leaving. Their sacrifices weren't worthy of his unending harassment.

But the bottom truth is this: We are, in fact, thriving. Without him. Hopefully we'll have some leadership that will support what we've worked our tails off for this year. Hoping the district enables us to have some say in who comes next. We can't keep doing this.

-Still standing.
Anonymous said…
Hamilton Parent: Officially and ultimately, the superintendent appoints principals.

The answers to many of your other questions are "it depends." SPS has accepted, even welcomed, input from school communities on new principals ... when there is time for it. Obviously, the process can be more inclusive if a principal leaves mid-year instead of at the end of June. I'm sure there are situations where the district has firm ideas of who it wants to have running a specific school and other times when it is caught by surprise when a principal leaves.

- Trying to be helpful
suep. said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
suep. said…
Good points and questions, Hamilton Parent. Maybe it's just a matter of school communities speaking up and demanding parent input into principal hires -- especially schools like (arguably) HIMS, and (definitely) Lowell, that have recently had principals who are not well-suited to the school, or simply just plain bad news.

A number of schools have recently done just that -- including TOPS K-8, Rainier Beach H.S., Coe & Lafayette. Most of these schools were recovering from a poorly chosen principal and were likely able to make the case that they needed better leadership. The TOPS community helped choose their new principal, who has a background in gifted ed and social justice – an issue of importance to the school.

HIMS families should speak up and ask for a say -- or at least tell the district what they would want in a new principal:,

At HIMS, a principal who actively and enthusiastically supports all the programs in the school, including gifted ed and language immersion, as well as encourages seriously good, highly qualified teachers and does not tolerate instructional mediocrity, would be a great addition.
po3 said…
Looks like SE was busy these last few weeks.
I concur on all Sue's recommendations. Hamilton has a lot going on in terms of programming and an active parent base. I would think there would be a couple of parents on the search team and the PTA should push for that.
Anonymous said…
Lisa Escobar left Viewlands for her new job a week before school was out (therefore wasn't there for the last day either)

Louise said…
Where is Lisa Escobar going?
Anonymous said…
The District has already picked one [for Hamilton?]:
white male, 40's, current Seattle elementary principal, some APP experience

June 26, 2012 7:49 AM

-from the app rumor mill
suep. said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
Escobar is going to be a superintendent in CA.

Lots of musical chairs, both from the school level and district level until Banda gets the lay of the land.
mirmac1 said…
Let's see if Chris Carter tries to foist TFA on Mercer. He is an enthusiastic cheerleader for hiring inexperienced, poorly trained non-teachers.
My suspicion as well Mirmac. I think he got pushback from Hamilton that he won't at Mercer.
Anonymous said…
If you read the Seattle Times article, there's reference to the principal that started some of Mercer's changes, Andhra Lutz, who has KIPP experience and subsequently left to work for KIPP in Washington, D.C.
What's interesting about that old article is this:

"Other schools need to observe Mercer. We all need to observe it," said Betty Patu, a board member representing Southeast Seattle. "They are clearly having success, so how can we implement this at other schools?"

Betty was the one to ask, at a C&I committee meeting where waivers were discussed, "what if a large number of schools want math waivers? Do we give it to all of them?"

Dead silence because, of course, that is NOT what staff wants (even if it is working elsewhere).

Because no one wants to admit this math adoption is a near disaster and that parents and teachers alike are not happy.

This may be one of Banda's big calls (and I hope it comes sooner rather than later).
Jan said…
Congratulations on getting the Board apology, Jennifer. I know it does not right the wrong, but I am pleased for you and C-1 anyway. The courage, integrity, and fortitude that each of you displayed under fire is truly inspiring. SSD is/was lucky to have you both.

And StepJ: I am not sure that King is so foolish. I think he may totally have a clue as to what will keep him in MGJ's good graces. I recall in one of Charlie's posts -- when he asked her when accountability was going to come for HER -- when would SHE be accountable for results -- she made it clear that her number wasn't going to be called for several years -- WAY past the end of her lavish employment contract (in other words -- for the $300,000+ that she was making -- there was no accountability -- none at all). I think she has a similar arrangement in her new job. By the time any chickens roost, she will have collected her hundreds of thousands, and will be gone. So she doesn't actually need great leaders or skilled managers. What she does need (and seemed to want in Seattle) is unquestioning loyalty, and that is something that Mr. King can provide irrespective of whether he has any leadership or management skills whatsoever. I just feel bad for the teachers at his new school. No good karma comes from being glad that Lowell gets rid of him, when I know that some NEW school takes on the burden. But that said -- may Lowell get a great, great principal next year. And may C-1 and all of the other besieged Lowell teachers who have managed to stay aboard over the past few years have a wonderful 2012-13 school year.
Anonymous said…
The whole situation seems odd. I wonder why the district has not made an announcement. Don't principals have to sign a contract each year like certificated staff? Those are usually due in mid-May and failure to sign a contract is considered a resignation. Has anyone asked if King has a signed contract with SPS?
lowell parent said…
He told the staff on Monday that he was saying. I don't get it.
Anonymous said…
He's burning bridges somewhere - guess we'll know where sometime soon.
pissed off said…
One should ask his boss Nancy Coogan why she lett this continue. He stopped showing up the last couple of weeks. Kids were fighting in the classrooms and he was nowhere to be seen. I heard some kid got crushed by a soccer goal and he was no where to be seen. He was not there the last day of school. Ultimately its the responsibility of Nancy Coogan. My question is what's wrong with her to allow it to continue.
Anonymous said…
Many people rightfully question Coogan`s value added on any # of difficulties. She likes to turn up at mttgs, she carries a big important satchel of files ...

Anonymous said…
...but she supported Mr. King through one mess after another.
-noy skeptic
Anonymous said…
Oops. "Noy skeptic" is a typo, though I sort of like the sound of it.
-not skeptic
pissed off said…
Is it true that principals get 100k plus?
Pissed off, it really depends on what school and experience but yes, many of the high school principals make at or near $100k.
Charlie Mas said…
I think the word that we're looking for here is "earn", as in,

Yes, principals typically earn $100,000 a year or more.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jan said…
So, Nancy Coogan. I have to say, I was inclined to like her when she first showed up at GHS for a meet and greet. Since then, under her watch --

The Lowell APP kids lost their home AFTER the end of the school year, in a spasm of bad planning/management remarkable even by SSD standards.

She was in charge during the King/Geohaghan debacle with the speech pathologists -- and whatever she did, it certainly didn't seem to be effective management of her "instructional leaders" there.

She presided over a truly astounding exodus of teachers from Lowell over a two-year period. All bad apples? Not from what I have heard.

And she seems to have allowed King to go totally awol at the end of the school year, with no coverage, no explanation to families, no anything.

Am I somehow missing the information that would show that all this has happened despite her valiant but unavailing efforts to right the ship? I am physically removed enough that I can't really tell what is going on, and it is easy enough in the SSD environment to blame the wrong person (there are so many choices!). But Lowell certainly doesn't seem to have been well managed over the past 3 years. How are these things NOT Nancy Coogan's responsibilities?
Anonymous said…
Jan, I agree with you. And King is not the only principal Coogan is allowing to go AWOL. There are a couple of other situations that are literally imploding while she stands there doing nobody knows exactly what. She seems highly ineffective.

Concerned about those ed directors

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