West Seattle High School’s next principal: Brian Vance to succeed Ruth Medsker

Earlier this month, we reported that principal Ruth Medsker is leaving West Seattle High School at the end of this year, headed for Lincoln High School. This afternoon, Seattle Public Schools just announced that WSHS’s next principal will be Brian Vance, who’s been leading Roosevelt HS. Here’s the letter sent to families:

Dear West Seattle High School community:

I am pleased to announce that Brian Vance has been selected to be the new principal of West Seattle High School.

Mr. Vance was selected because of his vision for social-emotional learning for high school students within the Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports framework, his culture building experience as principal in several different comprehensive high schools, and his experience developing and leading work in high school advisories.

Mr. Vance has served as principal of Roosevelt High School since 2007. Under his leadership, the school has made significant progress to close achievement gaps, and established a school culture that promotes rigorous instruction for all students, and has been recognized for its academic and performing arts successes numerous times. Prior to that, Mr. Vance was the principal of the Center School from 2003-2007.

Mr. Vance holds a Master of Education in School Counseling from University of Maryland, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Hobart College, and an Administrative Certificate from the University of Washington’s Danforth School of Educational Leadership.

Principal Vance is excited to be a part of the West Seattle community that he calls home, and continuing the momentum built by the staff and students around student achievement and positive school climate. His official start date will be July 1, 2017. We will be scheduling opportunities for staff, families and students to meet Mr. Vance before the end of the school year.

I would like to extend my thanks to Principal Ruth Medsker for serving as principal for the past seven years. Her deep commitment to the West Seattle community is greatly appreciated, and Principal Vance looks forward to build on the foundation to lead the school into the 21st century.

Welcome Principal Vance to West Seattle High School.


Dr. Larry Nyland
Seattle Public Schools

7 Replies to "West Seattle High School's next principal: Brian Vance to succeed Ruth Medsker"

  • Curtis May 25, 2017 (4:31 pm)

    “Principal Vance is excited to be a part of the West Seattle community that he calls home”

    Amen and Amen.

  • Alanah May 25, 2017 (6:18 pm)

    What a wonderful addition to the West Seattle High School Community!  

  • WS mom May 25, 2017 (8:39 pm)

    So excited to have a local principal!  Welcome Mr. Vance!

  • Barb May 25, 2017 (10:15 pm)

    Welcome back Brian!! Westside is lucky to have you back.

  • Elle Nell May 25, 2017 (11:14 pm)

    Welcome! This is so exciting!

    Love the social- emotional component ❤️ 

  • Curate May 26, 2017 (12:38 am)

    Yes, this is fabulous news!

  • WSHS Mom May 26, 2017 (8:59 am)

    Thank you to Ruth Medsker for your energy and enthusiasm and all the progress you achieved at WSHS.  You will be missed.

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