4:10 PM: Madison Middle School will have a new principal next year, according to this letter from current principal Henterson Carlisle to Madison families, just shared with us by a parent:
Writing this letter is bittersweet. I want to let you know I will not be returning to Madison Middle School next year as your principal. My work here at Madison has been both a privilege and an honor. The progress we have made as a school, academically and as an inclusive community, is work that I am fortunate to have led.
As your principal, it has been my job — along with our staff — to create a safe, academically challenging and socially fulfilling learning environment for each of your children. With your support Madison has become just that — a safe, challenging learning environment. I am at a time in my life and educational career that I am ready for the next challenge. Madison has afforded me the opportunity to grow as a leader and a person. I feel this is the right time, and I believe that Madison is poised to take the next step on its continued journey to be one of the best middle schools in Seattle.
My position as principal will continue in full force until June 30. I will continue my dedication and focus as your school leader for the remainder of the year.
Carmela Dellino, Executive Director of Schools for the West Seattle region, and Superintendent José Banda will soon announce details about your next principal. I look forward to ensuring a smooth transition for the 2013-14 school year.
This is just to let you know of my plans in a timely manner. However, I am sure we will be talking about this in all of our upcoming meetings and as I see each of you at school. Fortunately, having such a strong, committed staff, your children will continue to be in good hands.
Thanks to each one of you for giving me the opportunity to be your school leader. Watching your children grow, learn and blossom each and every day has been a gift. I will miss the work tremendously.
This is the fourth school year that Carlisle has led Madison; he became interim principal for 2009-2010, then got the permanent appointment toward the end of that school year.
ADDED 4:10 PM: Minutes later, a separate message to parents announced an interim principal:
I am pleased that we are able to appoint longtime educator Dr. Robert Gary, Jr. as the new Interim Principal for Madison Middle School, starting on July 1. Dr. Gary comes to Madison from the District’s Interagency Academy and Skills Center, where he has served as co-principal during the 2012-13 school year.
Dr. Gary will be a great fit for the Madison Middle School community. He is committed to working collaboratively with parents, staff and the school community to ensure that each student receives a quality education and is ready for high school after his or her eighth-grade year.
As is our practice with an interim appointment, in the middle of the school year the Madison community will have an opportunity to provide feedback. Then we will decide if a search needs to be conducted for a permanent principal.
Previously, Dr. Gary served as principal at Rainier Beach High School from 2005-2011 and was assistant principal at the school from 1997-2004. During his time at Rainier Beach, the school saw academic gains on state standardized tests.
He is pleased to be returning to Madison Middle, where he previously served as a teacher, house administrator and interim assistant principal.
Dr. Gary earned a Masters in Education in School Administration from Western Washington University and received a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington.
We will set up opportunities for building staff, students and families to meet your new Interim Principal.
(Photo credits: WSB file photo of Henterson Carlisle; Seattle Public Schools photo of Dr. Robert Gary, Jr.)