Seattle Schools Staff Changes

 Update: Here is the Personnel Report to be presented, as part of the Consent agenda, at Wednesday's Board meeting.  It has a number of comings and goings including the departure of Bob Vaughan from Advanced Learning.

Madison is losing its principal, Carlisle Henterson, and he will be replaced by Dr. Robert Gary, Jr as interim principal.  Dr. Gary has been at Madison previously as a teacher and interim assistant principal.  No info on whether Mr. Carlisle is staying in the district.

(By coincidence, Mayor McGinn will be at Madison tomorrow for a media event around health services at that school.  This from our friends at the West Seattle blog.)

Beacon Hill Int'l School is losing principal Kelly Aramaki who is being appointed the SE region Executive Director.  He's a great administrator and I think this is a good choice.

Jo Lute-Ervin has been named interim principal for Kimball Elementary.  She's been a principal at many schools. 


Anonymous said…
Off-topic, but I can't find the right place to put this:

Credible source says that some or all of APP will be out of HIMS next year (yes, 2013-14 school year). Options are all of HIMS 6th graders at Lincoln, 6th and 7th at John Marshall, or all of APP at Jane Addams (have they grown a new wing of classrooms?!). Reason: "so many more students enrolled at HIMS than they expected!" I mean, really -- how many times can the district say that about enrollment and capacity? At a meeting with Lincoln parents last week, Sherry Carr (apparently incorrectly) said it wouldn't happen next year but she didn't have promises about the next. There's a pivotal meeting tomorrow.
June Surprise
Where's the meeting?
Zella917 said…
I heard on the APP blog that the meeting is just between the HIMS principal, Cindy Watters, and district staff. (So not a meeting that's open to the public). As a parent of a current APP sixth grader at HIMS, I'll be waiting anxiously to hear what the outcome of this meeting will be.
Anonymous said…
I just can't believe that Jo Lute-Ervin is being placed at another school in the district. Doesn't the district realize the liability they will face if/when there's a serious issue under her "watch"? She's previously admitted to parents and teachers alike that she has no idea how to submit any paperwork with the district, submit a budget, write up a disciplinary report, etc. SPS should be completely ashamed to keep moving her around to unsuspecting communities.
-Concerned and disgusted
Anonymous said…
Jo Lute-Ervin is off the bench for another go after Lafayette's Show and Tell but don't tell another adult? Blech.

Mr. White
Anonymous said…
Was there a hiring committee at Kimball? Did they choose to hire Ms. Lute-Ervin? It's difficult to believe that parents would voluntarily agree to have this done to them.

This news foreshadows a series of sad, unwelcome situations that will happen at that school.

Jet City mom said…
All the blog comments reflect sadness at the departure of Mr Carlisle, ( & I suspect if they were aware- some apprehension about Robert Gary.)
Since he had just been at Madison for four years,& was reportedly going well, I am curious as to the change.

Its hard to believe we have so many problem children still kicking around the district.
Im starting to think that the " Danforth Educational Leadership Program" involves a pact that stipulates lifetime employment.
I still need to do a write=up about the Board retreat but there is some movement towards developing better principals.
Anonymous said…
I completely agree that Kimball families should feel very concerned about being saddled with Jo Lute-Ervin. They should come and talk to parents at Lafayette to learn what they're in for. There's also a HUGE paper trail at the district on JLE, with multiple reports filed against her handling of incidents at Lafayette. We were shocked when she was placed as a "co-principal" at a small school last year, but to have her be placed as a full-fledged principal at another, new school next year is outrageous. The school board was also made aware of her significant shortcomings in ability and judgement via emails that have been saved, so they will be equally culpable if something happens at Kimball while JLE is in charge. We sent letters to all school board members to alert them to the issues at Lafayette while JLE was in charge, so there's no hiding on their part if something occurs.
-Lafayette parent
Anonymous said…
What's the word on Dr. Robert Gary Jr.? Should Madison families be concerned?
-Madison Family
Po3 said…
Is Jo Lute-Ervin an example of the lemon game highlighted in the movie Waiting for Superman?
Anonymous said…
"There's also a HUGE paper trail at the district on JLE, with multiple reports filed against her handling of incidents at Lafayette."

OK wait a minute here a principal with multiple parent complaints doesn't get a disciplinary transfer, but a teacher with one parent complaint gets at disciplinary transfer?

Jet City mom said…
What's the word on Dr. Robert Gary Jr.? Should Madison families be concerned?
-Madison Family

Dr.Gary was principal at Rainier Beach high school for many years & left a " mixed" legacy.

I would want to have clarity that Gary understands what it means to be a " mandated reporter". He did not understand that as principal at RBHS. ( or he chose to ignore protocol)
Anonymous said…
It's nice that the board is thinking about better principals, but I'll believe it when I see it, at least at Lafayette. We've been repeatedly burned over the last two years. First Jo Lute-Ervin, then Shawna Heath, and then Birgit McShane. All have been terrible fits for the school, and three principals (plus an interim principal)in two years is just ridiculous. Jo Lute-Ervin was completely unprepared and unfit for the post. Shawna Heath was a hard-$%@ who didn't understand or relate to the kids or the teachers. Birgit McShane retired ten years ago for good reason; she's way too out of touch with kids to run an elementary school. She's overly punitive, and is a jerk to the kids. Anyway, yeah, having better principals in SPS is a nice goal, but it's very far from current reality. Almost funny.
Anonymous said…
Jet City Mom- Could you please tell more about your experience with Dr. Robert Gary Jr?
-Madison parent
Jet City mom said…
its not my personal experience.
But I am especially sensitive to the rights of disabled students to not be harrassed/ assaulted at school.
mirmac1 said…
I echo Madison Parent's inquiry. I don't like central admin plugging in a (likely washed-up) principal as interim.

I have seen many teachers get thrown under bus at the whim of parents or egotistical principals (hello Vance). It takes an act of Congress to get rid of a bad principal. Instructional leaders my eye.
mirmac1 said…
Jet City Mom,

OMG! Anything that ex-SPS Legal Shannon McMinimee defends has got to be bogus!

The PI report you linked (in 2008 during MGJ's reign) sounds eerily like what happened at Lowell (reporting suspicious activity to a superior instead of SPD or CPS). "(a principal's) decision to not forward teachers' concerns to authorities is troubling, (Goodhew) said, but not necessarily criminal." How many times do we have to hear this?!

As for the Gary incident: 'The teacher, principal Gary or another school official probably should have reported the incident to authorities, Goodhew said. But the case wasn't as straightforward as it appeared: The girl at one point recanted, then reaffirmed her original report. "It's a tough judgment call," Goodhew said. "We look at it in hindsight and in a vacuum, but we're all humans. We all make mistakes."'

Okay, I don't care what anyone may say about Mr Carlisle's shortcomings but this is, literally, criminal. It's idiots like the KC prosecutor quoted above that prompted me to insist that I be alerted if anyone questions my child about a disciplinary incident. Parents be forewarned.
Anonymous said…
Mary Lane (McGilvra) leaving SPS for Bellevue. Interim is a teacher currently at the school. The District just can't seem to get it right at McGilvra.

Anonymous said…
Why would APP move out of HIMS when Cindy Watters just announced to the PTA (last week) that they could handle the new students this coming academic year? Was she lying? If she is involved in a "June surprise" maneuver then her credibility becomes nil.

-tired of the rumor mill
Anonymous said…
It's worth noting that unless there are other forthcoming leadership changes at Kimball, current Assistant Principal Jeanne Kuban will once again be paired with Jo Lute-Ervin. Though they are both nice people, as a team they were astoundingly ineffective leaders at TOPS, verging on disastrous.

Given the "Interim" title, let's hope this move is temporary.

- Stop the Shuffle
Anonymous said…
I'd like to second Kelly being a fantastic administrator. He was my principal for a year and I can't say enough good things about him!

Anonymous said…
I was at a meeting at Kimball last night. While the community is concerned about Jo Lute-Ervin they seems resigned to the assignment. Yes we had a hiring committee and discussions with the district, but were sorely misled on the process. There is some talk that Kimball will also be in need of a new Asst Principal. Thankfully our teachers and staff are great. Very disappointing.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said, "While the community is concerned about Jo Lute-Ervin they seems resigned to the assignment. Yes we had a hiring committee and discussions with the district, but were sorely misled on the process. There is some talk that Kimball will also be in need of a new Asst Principal."

There were serious incidents at Lafayette other than what is known to blog readers here. I believe that if this had been anywhere in West Seattle, people would be down at HQ with picket signs drawing media attention.

Your "resigned" parent population must have been selected as her destination, because SPS has worn out our tolerance level for this. I'm truly sorry that your teachers are inadvertently caught in it and they have my condolences.

When I looked at South Shore's website today, Ms. Lute-Ervin isn't listed there as an administrator, and her name has no title or responsibilities attached to it.

In light of such continuing self-inflicted wounds, it's becoming clearer that Superintendent Banda should muck out both the HR department and the PASS contract.

Anonymous said…
Melissa (or anyone who knows), on the updated report that was linked... What does separation mean?

SPS mom
Anonymous said…
I am really disappointed that Jo Lute-Ervin is being placed at Kimball next year. The current principal of Kimball is Anne Fitzpatrick and she is a strong leader who makes herself available to teachers and students. I am a regular substitute teacher at Kimball and found Ms. Fitzpatrick to be one of the most approachable and helpful principals I have ever worked for. She has an open door policy which I find very rare in Seattle Public Schools. I have subbed in several schools this year and last year. Whenever I subbed at Lafayette I found Jo Lute-Ervin's office door to always be closed. She was never visible in the school, I approached her with an issue about a student being inappropriately touched by another classmate and she asked me what I expected her to do about it. (Well, you are the principal for goodness sakes.) What do I expect from her? What kind of response is that?

Kimball parents: you need to protest this! Don't allow your children to be subjected to this leadership.

-Concerned for Kimball students and staff
Anonymous said…
Kimball parents, meet with Lute-Ervin and hear what she says. Lafayette has been damaged more in the past two years by parents taking every grievance public than with things Lute-Ervin actually did. There's been lots of third-hand stories about her and Shauna Heath, lots of hobby horses,and it's been really damaging to our community. The school's been through 4 principals in three years, and already there are rumors that certain parents "don't like" the new principal assigned for next year. A small subset of the school thinks it should run just to suit them. At some point, you have to ask, not why do so many "bad" principals go there, but rather, what is wrong with the parent dynamics there?
Kimball, meet Lute-Ervin with an open mind, and don't drag your school through the mud.
Tracy said…
Correction: Kimball did NOT have a hiring committee, we developed attributes anticipating an appointment. An NO we are not resigned. We plan to continue to resist the assignment while advocating for a real hiring process.
Anonymous said…
Stevens doesn't have strong leadership either.

Check out last year's school survey results, the staff section in particular.

Also, what's a "hobby horse?" Do you mean a distraction?
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said, " A small subset of the school thinks..."

Please look at the district's 2011-12 school report. It will tell you that 34% of the staff thought that Ms. Lute-Ervin was an acceptable principal -- or if you prefer, that staff morale was at 34% under her leadership. (The district's language is deliberately neutral, but there are a lot of good people behind that awful number.)

Please carefully consider that, before you choose to believe the nice person advising you to clear your mind of the actions by which she earned that rating and welcome this administrator into your school.

Anonymous said…
Despite what "AlsoAtLafayette" says, Jo Lute-Ervin is a disaster. It's not rumor. She's friendly, but that's it. She's completely incompetent as an administrator. Just ask Shawna Heath, the subsequent principal and now a district administrator- she spent her entire summer trying to fix the budgets, and put the school back together again.

I'm not kidding when I say that Jo Lute-Ervin DOES NOT know how to enter data into the district's computer database. That's a pretty critical skill for a principal, since it means that she's unable to complete everything from disciplinary forms to budgets to staff evaluations. If you don't believe it, go talk to the teachers at Lafayette (without a district type hanging around), or go ask her to demonstrate some skills.

But the scariest part of having Jo Lute-Ervin as principal as her lack of judgment. Just after she was removed as principal, there was a murder suspect loose in West Seattle (Cafe Racer), and parents were so relieved that the new interim principal (Mr. Asina) was in charge to make decisions, because we knew that Jo Lute-Ervin wouldn't have had a clue.

And, "JustAskLafayette" is right that the district tried to hide Jo Lute-Ervin at South Shore. Lafayette parents who knew she was there thought it was the district's way to keep her on the payroll until her retirement kicked in, but now it seems that they were hiding her under a rock until we forgot about her.

For her not to be listed on the website by June, after having been there since last September, should be a pretty strong indicator that the district doesn't want to advertise her whereabouts.

I don't know anything about Kimball, but my advice to parents/teachers at Kimball is to fight hard to get rid of Jo Lute-Ervin fast, because she's a danger to your school community, despite being a friendly person. Again, the district will bear full responsibility for whatever happens, since there's a paper trail a mile long.

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