West Seattle schools: New Lafayette Elementary principal announced

Lafayette Elementary‘s new principal has just been announced in a letter from Superintendent José Banda:

I am pleased today to announce the appointment of Robert Gallagher as your new principal, effective July 1.

Mr. Gallagher comes to Lafayette from St. Anthony’s K-8 in Renton, where he has served as principal since June 2011. Mr. Gallagher is a long-time educator committed to working with both staff and families to ensure success. He will be a great fit for the Lafayette community.

Mr. Gallagher started his career in Alberta, Canada as a middle school teacher, before becoming a vice principal and eventually principal. During that time he helped design and implement arts-infused education programming. He also oversaw the Maple Bear Songpa Campus, a 1,000-student pre-school in Seoul, South Korea. After that, he spent five years in Hawaii, with experience both as a principal of St. Theresa School and as Board Vice President of St. Joseph School.

His Masters of Education is from the University of Portland, with a focus on Education Leadership. His Bachelor of Education is from the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Mr. Gallagher was selected after a hiring process that included input from staff and families. The selection team committee was particularly impressed with Mr. Gallagher’s experience as a principal and his strong instructional and technology background. He is very collaborative and committed to building strong relationships with all members of the Lafayette community. Mr. Gallagher has the reputation of being a very student-focused principal.

I want to thank the hiring team for your work, and also thank the entire school community for your patience as we went through this process. Please know it was not a light decision to ask your former principal, Shauna Heath, to take her current role as Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction mid-year. But I know you have been in good hands with Interim Principal Birgit McShane, and I also want to thank her for her commitment to Lafayette these past three months and for the remainder of the school year.

Gallagher will become Lafayette’s third non-interim principal in two years; Heath had succeeded Jo Lute-Ervin, who left the job after a year. Before that, Virginia Turner led Lafayette for seven years.

6 Replies to "West Seattle schools: New Lafayette Elementary principal announced"

  • N.A. Neighbor March 29, 2013 (10:22 am)

    Welcome Mr. Gallagher! This is great news!

  • wsea March 29, 2013 (10:51 am)

    Hope you are able to bring compassion back to the administration and staff. Its been missing for a while. Oh.. yeah… Do not pick up the phone if its Jose Banda. We hope to keep you here for a while.

  • akwesasne March 29, 2013 (2:18 pm)

    That’s good news :)

    Now I’d like to know more about the situation with principal turnover at Holy Rosary. We’ve heard a lot about the change of principals at Lafayette but haven’t heard much about the frequent turnover of principals at Holy Rosary. HR has had 3 principals in the past 4 years and is getting ready to lose the current principal. Just curious about this.

    • WSB March 29, 2013 (2:23 pm)

      Actually Holy Rosary has announced an interim principal. Still working to find out more so I can publish a blurb (SPS sends out media notices; independent schools don’t always). And OLG’s principal is leaving. As is, back to SPS, Sanislo’s, as we mentioned here earlier this week. Let me know if I’m missing anybody … TR

  • sam-c March 29, 2013 (2:29 pm)

    (I don’t think the OLG principal is retiring, I think she is moving onto another opportunity- you can find more info on the school’s website, in the current principal’s newsletter)

    • WSB March 29, 2013 (2:34 pm)

      I’ll change it to leaving. Seemed young for retiring. But the notice I had happened onto was on the church website, while looking up Holy Week services for our list, anyway.

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