West Seattle schools: Principal change at Alki Elementary

Just announced by Seattle Public Schools: After two years at Alki Elementary, its principal Clover Codd is taking a new job as director of the district’s Teacher Incentive Fund. Award-winning Denny International Middle School assistant principal Chanda Oatis (right) will become interim principal at Alki in about two weeks. The district is sending a letter home to families; read on for its full text – PLUS, ADDED 7:18 PM TUESDAY – Denny principal Jeff Clark sends word that teacher Artise Burton will be promoted to interim Assistant Principal for Literacy, the position Oatis holds; he too has sent home a letter to families, and it’s added beneath the letter to Alki families:

Dear Alki Elementary School families:

I am pleased to announce that Principal Clover Codd has been appointed Director of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) for Seattle Public Schools.

I know it is always difficult to change leadership during the school year, but Alki Elementary will be in good hands. Today I am appointing Chanda Oatis, currently Assistant Principal at Denny International Middle School, to serve as Interim Principal for the 2011-12 school year. The official change of leadership takes place on Oct. 17 and Ms. Oatis will plan a meet-and-greet with families soon.

Earlier this month, Ms. Oatis was awarded the Washington State Assistant Principal of the Year by the Association of Washington Middle Level Principals. In February, the Principals Association of Seattle Schools named her Middle School/K-8 Assistant Principal of the Year. Ms. Oatis is a phenomenal leader, and I know that Alki Elementary School will continue to shine under her guidance. Her full biography is attached.

As TIF Director, Ms. Codd will oversee the TIF team that provides grant oversight and guidance. She will be responsible for the coordination of all elements of our federal grant, including the development and assessment of approaches to elevating teacher performance. In this role, she can make a huge difference for our teachers. I hope you will join me in wishing her well in this new opportunity.

If you have any questions, please let me know. We look forward to a smooth transition, and I know Ms. Oatis will be a great fit at Alki Elementary.

Best wishes,

Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent

Here’s the bio mentioned in the letter.

ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: Here’s Denny principal Jeff Clark’s letter, sent in English and Spanish:

Dear Denny International Students and Families,

Ms. Oatis and I have some big news to share. Ms. Oatis will be leaving Denny International in two weeks to become the Interim Principal of Alki Elementary School. I would like to thank her for her amazing leadership and commitment to the success of our scholars over the last six years and one month. She has been an outstanding leadership partner for me and I can’t thank her enough. Also, I am very proud of her. Although we will really miss having her with us, she is ready to be a principal of her own school and many children will benefit as a result.

Her current position at Denny, the Assistant Principal for Literacy, is an instructional leadership position. I am pleased to announce that Mr. Burton has been appointed Interim Assistant Principal for Literacy with us starting in two weeks. Prior to joining us as a Grade-level Administrator, Mr. Burton taught Language Arts at Mercer Middle School for five years. During that time, Mercer began using the same approach to reading and writing that we now do, Readers/Writers Workshop. For four years, Mr. Burton taught workshop and attended extensive training at Columbia Teachers College in New York. I am confident that Mr. Burton will effectively use his experience and training and bring his same level of energy and excitement to his new position.

Thank you for your support during this time of transition.


Jeff Clark, Principal

Queridos Estudiantes y Familias de Denny Internacional,

La Sra. Oatis y yo tenemos algunas grandes noticias para compartir. La Sra. Oatis dejará Denny Internacional en dos semanas para ser la Directora Interina de la Escuela Primaria Alki. Me gustaría darle las gracias por su increíble liderazgo y compromiso con el éxito de nuestros estudiantes durante los últimos seis años y un mes. Ella ha sido una gran líder junto a mí lado y no puedo y estoy profundamente agradecido. Además, estoy muy orgulloso de ella. Aunque realmente vamos a extrañar, ella está dispuesta a liderar su propia escuela como directora y muchos niños beneficiarán como resultado.

Su posición actual en Denny, Director Asistente de Lectura, es una posición de liderazgo instruccional. Me complace anunciar que el Sr. Burton ha sido nombrado el Director Asistente de Lectura Interino con nosotros a partir de dos semanas. Antes de unirse con nosotros como un Director de Nivel de Grado Escolar, el Sr. Burton enseñó lenguaje y literatura en la Escuela Secundaria de Mercer por cinco años. Durante ese tiempo, Mercer empezó enseñar lectura y escritura con el mismo currículo, Readers/Writers Workshop (Talleres Leedores/Escritores). Por cuatro anos, el Sr. Burton enseno talleres y asistió entrenamientos extensivos en el colegio, Columbia Teachers College en Nueva York. Tengo confianza en decir que el Sr. Burton va tener el mismo nivel de energía y entusiasmó a su nueva position.

Gracias por su apoyo durante este tiempo de cambio.


Jeff Clark, Director

23 Replies to "West Seattle schools: Principal change at Alki Elementary"

  • M Slye October 4, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    Miss Codd was awesome and she has done so much for the school! I am no longer an Alki parent but wish her the best in her new position. And good luck to Ms. Oatis, she has big shoes to fill.

  • SV October 4, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    so lame! some parents were made to believe ms. codd would be at alki for many more years…and even chose the school because of that. teachers are great though & so are parents at alki. SPS should get it together with regards to timing. welcome ms. oatis.

  • Jen October 4, 2011 (1:48 pm)

    Clover was the best one of (of many) to fill that slot in a long, long time.

  • Alki Elementary Mom October 4, 2011 (1:49 pm)

    Welcome to Alki Elementary, Chanda! Alki is a great school with an enthusiastic staff and amazing parent involvement. I hope to meet you soon and hear your vision for our school.

  • stb October 4, 2011 (2:45 pm)

    Alki Parents,
    As a Denny parent I can say I think you will be very happy with Ms. Oatis. She does a terrific job at Denny and the kids really like her. I’m very sorry Denny will be losing her but wish her best of luck in her new position.

  • karen October 4, 2011 (3:01 pm)

    So what does this mean for Denny? A new co VP or down to one only?

  • justcuz October 4, 2011 (3:15 pm)

    Former Alki and Denny parent here. Obviously never met Ms. Codd, but agree that Alki will not be disappointed in Chanda Oatis!

  • A October 4, 2011 (3:26 pm)

    I’m not surprised at all. We toured Alki for our current kindergartner and were completely turned off by the principal. I knew she wouldn’t be there much longer. She didn’t seem completely there to begin with…principal yet doing work in NY…”but you can reach me” she said. You’re either committed or you’re not. And from that one encounter I knew she was not.

  • Denny Dad October 4, 2011 (3:28 pm)

    I haven’t had the privilege of knowing Ms. Codd, but can tell you Alki is very lucky to have a fabulous leader like Ms. Oatis coming their way. She has been so well-loved by both students and families at Denny, we are going to miss her terribly. Who is ever going to be able to fill those shoes? One special requirement – any candidate must have a great singing voice for their lead role in the motivational rap songs that the Denny team posts for their students at testing time every year. Check for those on the blog!

  • Paul October 4, 2011 (3:36 pm)

    As an Alki parent, this actually doesn’t surprise me. It seemed that Clover Codd had ambitions beyond being an Alki Elementary principal. I’m not saying this to impugn her character, just an observation. Good luck to Chandra Oatis.

  • DBurns October 4, 2011 (4:18 pm)

    HUGE loss for Denny – HUGE gain for Alki!! Congratulations, Chanda!! We love you!

  • sw October 4, 2011 (4:21 pm)

    Sigh… Denny’s loss is Alki’s MAJOR gain.

  • Cori Roed October 4, 2011 (4:35 pm)

    I have to second that: HUGE loss for Denny and Alki you are getting a winner as replacement. I sure hope the Denny Literacy program will continue to progress without Ms. Oatis. She will be missed! Cori R
    former and future Denny parent

  • Future Denny parent October 4, 2011 (5:44 pm)

    The West Seattle community is so lucky to be keeping one of its best leaders local. Ms. Oatis will make a wonderful principal and will loved by the Alki community once they get to know her and her passion and dedication. We wish you all the best Chanda!

    • WSB October 4, 2011 (5:52 pm)

      I also have some info from Denny principal Jeff Clark re: Ms. Oatis’s replacement, and the letter he sent home – I am adding that in a few minutes – TR

  • Alki Mom October 4, 2011 (6:10 pm)

    Ms. Codd has been an amazing part of the Alki community and we all love her.

    Congrats on your promotion we are all proud of you and wish you the best of luck. We will miss you.

    Ms. Oatis, we look forward to meeting you and we are eager to hear your vision for Alki. Thank you for being willing to come and be a part of our school community.

  • Roxana M Amaral October 4, 2011 (7:28 pm)

    Ms. Oatis is an outstanding leader! Alki is a very lucky school. I will miss her at Denny. I thank her for all her inspiration and love for our students. She will forever be part of the DIMS Team. Congrats Ms. O!!

  • P.Rangel October 4, 2011 (10:13 pm)

    Congratulations Alki Elementary! Our deep loss is your tremendous gain. You are inheriting a talented and incredibly dedicated leader.

  • Kristina Bellamy-McClain October 4, 2011 (10:49 pm)

    Congratulations Chanda! Alki is extremely fortunate to have you! I am excited for your new journey and am positive that your heart, passion, energy and light for providing quality educational experiences for all students will shine in your new community! Bravo!!

  • Cclarue October 5, 2011 (8:38 am)

    To all alki parents ms oatis is amazing! Don’t worry a bit!!

  • Alki Parent October 5, 2011 (11:04 am)

    We’ve been at Alki 6 years now and in that time we have had 3 principles. It’s hard for our family because it also means 3 visions for the school, it’s got to be hard on the teachers too. Ms. Codd was great, it’s a bummer though not to have her vision carried through fully. Hopefully Ms. Oatis will pick up where Ms. Codd left off.

  • Benjamin Ostrom October 5, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    Congratulations to Alki and Ms. Oatis. Alki has the good fortune of one quality leader following another. I look forward to hearing about the good things to come.

    Ben Ostrom

  • Sandra Kutz-Russell October 7, 2011 (9:52 am)

    Ms. Oatis is a passionate leader, very easy to communicate with and all around wonderful person. What a loss to the Denny community. Alki Elementary, you are gaining a treasure that you will soon love as we at Denny and Sealth do! Cheers to you Ms. Oatis.

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