West Seattle schools: New job for Arbor Heights principal

Arbor Heights Elementary‘s principal Dr. Carol Coram is leaving her job at the end of the school year, according to a letter she has sent to members of the school community. Dr. Coram cites health reasons as deciding to take a different job, that of assistant principal at Denny International Middle School. No word on her replacement at AH. Read on for full text of her message (thanks to those who tipped us on this):

Dear Arbor Heights Families,

It is with mixed emotions that I announce I will not be returning as your principal next school year.

My health status, as some of you know, has been an issue for several years. The past four years have been a struggle with several diagnoses and recurring medical conditions. At this point, my health takes priority.

I have made a decision to focus on my health while still dedicating myself to the academic achievement of children. I have, in turn, accepted the position of Assistant Principal at Denny Middle School.

While it saddens me to leave Arbor Heights, I look forward to the challenge of the next educational level. Denny Middle School, under the leadership of Jeff Clark, continues to offer strong curricula and extra-curricular activities. I am excited at the prospect of being a part of these programs as a “Denny Dolphin.”

While my departure is official at the end of June, I want to thank you now for your strong support of Arbor Heights. Through the good times and the challenging times, there was never a doubt amongst the school community that the bottom line is our students. For that, I will be eternally grateful and will cherish as a gift, the opportunity to watch your children grow and learn.

Sincerely yours,

Carol A. Coram, Ed.D.

*Very soon, the district will work with the Arbor Heights’ staff and families in conducting a search for a new principal. Be on the lookout for information regarding this process.

13 Replies to "West Seattle schools: New job for Arbor Heights principal"

  • Arbor Heights Mom May 19, 2011 (3:12 pm)

    I’m very confused about why the assistant principal role at a middle school is less taxing than the principal role at an elementary. What am I missing?

  • Mary May 19, 2011 (3:30 pm)

    At least middle school kids are better able to fight back against this abuser!

  • Another parent May 19, 2011 (3:32 pm)

    It may be about what the specific jobs and duties of the AP are, as compared to her comfort zone and strengths. That being said, I think that it is a curious move as well.

  • Jack Mayne May 19, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    Carol Coram is one of those special people that education has too few of. She has been the rock holding Arbor Heights at the standard it has been at for so many years. The Seattle School District has many problems but line staff like Carol Coram is what it takes to stop the drifting and to begin the assent. Be glad she is staying with the Seattle School District, even in a diminished role.

  • AH Mom May 19, 2011 (4:11 pm)

    Jack, do your children go to AH? AH is a wonderful school but the Principal is not what is holding it all together. The PTA staff, teachers and the parents hold it together. It was time for Dr. Coram to move on. I do wish her good luck.

  • Cheryl May 19, 2011 (5:37 pm)

    This news actually makes me feel a *litte* better about AH being our area/reference school.

  • jshy May 19, 2011 (8:32 pm)

    We’ve had a great experience our first year at Arbor Heights. I wish Dr. Coram the best and look forward to a new leader for the school.

  • wsj May 20, 2011 (7:57 am)

    I have never met anyone possessing more self righteous arrogance than Carol Coram. First red flag; anyone who introduces their own person as doctor. This reeked of major insecurity from day one. This combined with the most utter lack of competence and professionalism was a toxic mix for AH. At least at Denny she won’t be in a position where she can continue the damage.

  • Melissa Westbrook May 20, 2011 (10:38 am)

    Question: if she has a health problem but is going to continue working, is the Arbor Heights building making her sick? They had a mold issue several years back and it’s a pretty old building.

    • WSB May 20, 2011 (10:41 am)

      Dr. Coram has publicly discussed surviving cancer.

  • AH parent May 20, 2011 (10:54 am)

    Wow such harsh words, abuser?, self righteous arrogance?, incompetence? Dr. Coram has made contributions to Arbor Heights Elementary. Best of luck to you Dr. Coram.

  • pjmanley May 20, 2011 (12:44 pm)

    One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

    At 8 years and counting in SPS, I’ve consistently heard the same teacher described as “awful” by some parents and “awesome” by another. I think it all boils down to expectations and personalities. Many parents love teachers I’m not fond of, and vice-versa.

    Caution: Be careful what you wish for!

    It pays to keep this in mind as we shuffle people around and call people good and bad. We all know what they say about opinions…

  • wsj May 20, 2011 (2:26 pm)


    You can have your treasure and all the baggage that comes with it.

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