(WSB photo of Shauna Heath making an entrance aboard a fire engine at Lafayette’s first assembly of the year)
Seattle Public Schools just announced that another elementary principal from West Seattle is being promoted to management downtown – this time Lafayette Elementary‘s newest principal Shauna Heath, after just a few months. Here is what was sent to Lafayette families late today:
>Dear Lafayette Elementary community:
Today I’m announcing a leadership change at Lafayette. Your principal, Shauna Heath, has been appointed Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction. In her new role, Ms. Heath will oversee Early Learning, College and Career Readiness and core content areas.
I know Lafayette staff and families went through a principal search process last summer, and I understand it is a hardship to have a leadership change mid-year. But we need Ms. Heath’s leadership to help all of our nearly 50,000 students. Congratulations to Ms. Heath, and I know she will be missed at Lafayette.
Birgit McShane has been appointed interim principal. This is effective Jan. 7, and Ms. Heath will be available to ensure a smooth transition. Ms. McShane is a long-time educator and retired principal. She is a graduate of Seattle Public Schools and spent more than 30 years as an educator in the District – including serving as the principal at Graham Hill Elementary and Daniel Bagley Elementary — before retiring in 2006. She also recently served as interim principal at Leschi Elementary when the principal was on maternity leave.
We will move quickly to form a hiring committee. Carmela Dellino, Executive Director of Schools for West Seattle, will attend the Jan. 17 PTA meeting, along with our Human Resources staff, to gain parent input regarding desired qualities of their principal. We will also meet with Lafayette staff next month.
We will also draft and send out an electronic survey to gather additional input from families. We hope to post the position by Jan. 21. A team of staff and family members will interview candidates, with a first round of interviews completed by the end of February. Our goal is to have someone in place by the end of March.
I recognize that leadership change creates a distraction in the school. But I am confident the Lafayette staff will ensure strong teaching and learning continues during the next several months.
Lafayette is the second local elementary this year to see its principal moved up into district management; Carmela Dellino – mentioned in the memo above – became executive director of Southwest Region schools after serving as Roxhill’s principal until earlier this year. Heath’s predecessor at Lafayette, Jo Lute-Ervin, was there just one school year, as the successor to Virginia Turner, who had led the school for seven years before that. Lafayette is the most populous public elementary in West Seattle, with about 550 students at last count.
P.S. Thank you to the WSB’ers who forwarded this announcement to make sure we had seen it. Meantime, turns out the announcement about Heath is part of a larger districtwide leadership announcement – read on for the superintendent’s memo on that:
As we head into the New Year, I am pleased to announce several appointments and leadership changes in our District, specifically to Teaching and Learning.
Our core work at Seattle Public Schools is based in Teaching and Learning, and I want to thank all of you for your continued hard work, especially in light of key leadership positions that have been unfilled. I am confident the team announced today will bring stability to the department and carry out the work we need to do through the end of the 2012-13 school year.
Michael Tolley is now the sole Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. I want to thank both Michael and Marni Campbell for co-sharing this responsibility this fall, while still continuing to do their work as Executive Directors of Schools. Now Michael will focus on Teaching and Learning, and we will create a solid plan for the Southeast region in Michael’s absence. Marni will return to her Executive Director of Schools duties full-time.
We have a search firm in place to recruit for the Assistant Superintendent position and I hope to have it filled permanently by the end of the school year. I know having this position vacant has been difficult, and I want to thank the entire Teaching and Learning staff — from Central Office to our principals, teachers and support staff — for your dedication this year.
Additional leadership appointments include:
· Curriculum and Instruction: A hiring committee interviewed finalists in November, and I am pleased to announce Shauna Heath as our new Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Shauna has been the principal at Lafayette Elementary since the start of the school year. She joined Seattle Public Schools from the Kent School District, where she served as principal of Sunrise Elementary. Shauna will oversee Early Learning, College and Career Readiness and core content areas. She will report to the Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.
· Early Learning PreK-5: Kimberly Kinzer will now serve as Director of Early Learning, with a focus on Pre-Kindergarten through 5th Grade. In this new role, Kimberly will build a strong early learning foundation, overseeing Head Start, Special Education PreK, WaKids, the Families and Education Levy’s PreK-Elementary implementation, and the Race to the Top’s Start Strong component. Her goal is to ensure students are prepared for kindergarten, to align the District’s assessments, and to create solid transitions from grade-to-grade.
· College and Career Readiness: Janet Blanford will now serve as Director of College and Career Readiness for grades 6-12. Janet will focus on making sure our secondary learners are prepared for college, career and life. She will oversee Career and Technical Education, counselors, course approval and course catalogs, the high school steering committee, the Families and Education levy’s middle and high school grants, and the Race to the Top’s Stay Strong component.
These three individuals will work closely together to provide strong leadership for the District’s Curriculum and Instruction Department. They will collectively be responsible for leading the district-wide implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and taking the Multi Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to scale among many other initiatives.
In addition, our Executive Directors of Schools will now report to the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. This gives the Teaching and Learning team more direct access to our principals and schools.