Emerson Principal Resigning at End of Year

But somehow that principal - Andrea Drake -  will then be working at JSCEE on "eliminating opportunities gaps."  I guess so but if she doesn't play well with others in a school, how moving her to JSCEE will change that is a mystery.

I wonder what the role of the Executive Director of that region was in all this.  (I'll have a thread on this soon as it seems that no one at JSCEE can quite agree on what their role is or what they actually do.)

Here's the letter Dr. Drake sent out:
Dear Emerson Elementary Staff and Families,
I am writing to let you know that after much consideration, I have accepted a position in the Seattle Public Schools district office to support the Eliminating Opportunity Gaps work. It was a difficult decision because I have enjoyed serving as your principal so much and I am proud of the progress we have made together; but I am excited to approach this new chapter. I will still be a part of Seattle Public Schools, as I take on a body of work that I am personally passionate about. In my new role, I will have the opportunity to help design culturally responsive school supports and aid the entire district in eliminating  opportunity gaps. My start date will be July 1, 2017.
Leaving Emerson staff, students, and families will be difficult. In a short time, we have made great progress in implementing our vision and goal to maximize daily instruction, reengage our families and community, and improve student attendance, in an effort to accelerate the academic achievement of our scholars. Emerson Elementary is an amazing learning community that prides itself on working together to make a difference in the lives of students, and I have valued being a part of it.
As we work together to finish out the school year, the district office will begin the process of working with staff and families to identify the qualities the school community is looking for in its next leader. Staff and families will both be represented on the hiring team to ensure a good fit. I am confident that Emerson Elementary will be in good hands. I will finish out this year and work closely with staff to ensure a smooth transition to the 2017-18 year; I know our staff will also continue on the path we have laid together.
Thank you for embracing and supporting me these past years. Emerson Elementary will always have a very special place in my heart. I know Emerson Elementary Eagles will continue to SOAR higher because of families and staff like you. I will truly miss you and wish you all the best and look forward to supporting you in my new role.
Andrea Drake, Ed.D.
Principal, Emerson Elementary School


Anonymous said…
I thought we were draining the JSCEE swamp not adding to it?

Anonymous said…

Let's play 'pretend'.

Pretend this individual did NOT go to JSCEE to do whatever she is going to be "doing" there.

What would suffer? What opportunity would be missed? Which needs of which particular children would not be met?

In other words, what difference does it make if she goes there (vs not goes there)?

Dr. Drake is going to sit in a cubicle in SoDo, having a vague job description "equity", "gaps", etc. Her performance will not really audit-able or measurable. She will push some paper, spout some platitudes... but actual accomplishments our children can look forward to and benefit from? So, why bother placing her there? In fact, I can imagine she can do some damage to what we do have.

Emerson does need a principal, but, JSCEE does not need another FTE. At least, not for this. Students who are underperforming need supports, and that to me looks like more direct time with certificated adults in buildings where they are in. How about leave Dr. Drake there at Emerson, and take an existing 5th grade classroom and split it in half, lowering the student-teacher ratio for those lucky 28 kids, so now those kids get more one-on-one time with a teacher? I bet this would have a much more profound, measurable impact for SPS students than her role in JSCEE.

I believe in teachers. I believe in the power of a teacher to have a profoundly positive affect on a child. But, to do so, they need to not be overwhelmed with large class sizes or large student loads. More teachers, less admin, please. If only JSCEE would push that instead of whatever latest edu-speak... MTSS, RTI, blah blah blah. That is the way to close achievement gaps. Make our Title 1 elementaries have class sizes of no more than 15. That would give teachers a great year to really touch a child and his/her family in a deep way. Oh, and leave the FTE family support workers in place too.

Anyone remember the management types former Deputy Super Charles Wright brought in?

They took a lot of money for nothing.

Not one kid was helped, but, lots were harmed. That money could have gone to teachers in the classroom. More teachers, good. More admin, not good. More admin tends to just load up on make-work projects that do not benefit kids.

Thank you Melissa for highlighting this change. If not for you, we would not know how wasteful this district is with our money, and how they seem to short-sheet our kids whenever they get the possibility. You do a great job, provide an important service, and, you are not acknowledged or thanked nearly enough.

Waste Not

Anonymous said…
I thought SPS already had a Department of Equity Initiatives & Outcomes run by Nikka Lemons. How is this different? I believe this is a waste of district money. Do all ineffective principals end up with make work jobs at JCSEE?

Shows where Nyland's real priorities are, already spening more on central admin, shameful.
Anonymous said…
This is called "do the least harm" while avoiding a lawsuit, probably not winnable by the district, since Drake was pulled out abruptly and then reinstated after NAACP made it clear that they were defending her because her due process rights were likely violated.

What an avoidable waste. Once again, SPS let a situation get horrible and, when they finally responded/reacted, made it worse.

At least she'll be out the of school.

I doubt her due process rights were violated but yeah, cheaper than a lawsuit. Wish SPS could get rid of less than effective principals; I've seen them do it with teachers.
Anonymous said…
Never be mistaken about the status of teachers.

No matter how skilled or effective, we are about one degree of separation
from unionized casino workers in Vegas--on a good day.

Dan Danaher always does an excellent job of illustrating our reality.

The whim of insecure power-seeker can end a career, despite a history of
accomplishments. I've seen it.

Elsa said…
Hey FedUpParent:

YES and a bunch are entrenched as "Education Directors".

Now thats scary in and of itself.

Nyland must go now.
Kate (Belltown) said…
Amen to FWIW's comment. The district's treatment of teachers is shameful. And just look at the cuts made at JSCEE: It seems not one of them is from the executive wing. In the meantime, teachers are more and more burdened with larger class sizes and being treated like factory floor workers. The whole thing is appalling.
Naturally, the most important issue is finding and retaining a good principal for Emerson. Like several schools before them (see Graham Hill), they have had a lot of principal turnover in the last several years.
n said…
Ditto thanks to FWIW because I have a controlling principal that abuses teachers. Factory floor workers? At least they get breaks.

A good principal? I'm not sure I know what that is anymore.

Jet City mom said…
That principals union must have administration cowed.

not mc t said…

op gap is so easy to solve we can have a failed administrator focus on it. big priority unless you are using it as an excuse to break up hcc. nyland and tolley and his band of merry ed's should be removed. let us start fresh.

no caps
Anonymous said…
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