Roxhill Elementary principal Carmela Dellino promoted to executive director of West Seattle schools

FIRST REPORT, 11:56 AM: Just forwarded to us:

Dear Roxhill Elementary School families:

It is with deeply mixed emotions that I am writing to let you know I have decided to accept the position of Executive Director of Schools for Seattle Public Schools’ Southwest Region. I will be replacing Aurora Lora, who has taken a job in Texas.

My years at Roxhill have been filled with incredible joy. Roxhill is a vibrant, positive school that celebrates our diverse community and is committed to every student’s success. The staff is truly the best group of educators with whom I have ever had the honor of working.  I am proud and grateful to have been the principal of Roxhill.  I look forward to watching the continued progress of our students and celebrating the many successes that I am confident lie ahead.

I am also very excited about this new opportunity to lead our principals and staff in service to families in the Southwest Region, which includes Roxhill. While I will miss the opportunity to interact with you on a daily basis, I will be in Roxhill on a regular basis with your new principal. As one of the six regional Executive Directors of Schools, I will support principals’ instructional leadership in order to increase student achievement and close opportunity gaps. This includes using data to monitor school progress, coordinating professional development, one-on-one coaching, principal evaluations and conducting frequent learning walks through school buildings.

Please be assured that my highest immediate priority in the next few weeks is to work with Roxhill staff and parents to select the next leader for our school. Please do not hesitate to contact me to share the qualities and characteristics you would like to see in your next principal. You can reach me at

You will be able to meet your new principal at the Welcome Back BBQ on Thursday, Aug. 30 from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. at Roxhill. Looking forward to seeing you all there!


Carmela Dellino, Principal
Roxhill Elementary School

ADDED 1:03 PM: The district has since sent a news release announcing Dellino’s appointment, as well as an executive director for another region of the district, in a letter from new Superintendent José Banda – read it ahead:

Dear Seattle Public Schools community,

Our mission is to ensure all students at Seattle Public Schools receive a quality education and are prepared for college, career and life. In order to create academic success, it is imperative for us to provide high-quality instructional leadership.

Today I am pleased to appoint two new Executive Directors of Schools. Kim Whitworth, principal at Eckstein Middle School, will be Executive Director of Schools for the Northeast region. Carmela Dellino, principal at Roxhill Elementary, will serve as Executive Director of Schools for the West Seattle region. The new positions will start in mid-August.

They join four other Executive Directors of Schools, who support principals’ instructional leadership in order to increase student achievement and close opportunity gaps. This includes using data to monitor school progress, coordinating professional development, one-on-one coaching and principal evaluations, and conducting frequent learning walks through school buildings to ensure quality instruction. Together, they supervise and support more than 100 principals.

Ms. Whitworth is replacing Phil Brockman, who has been appointed to a new grant-funded Executive Director of School Operations position. Ms. Dellino replaces Aurora Lora, who left her position this month to be the Assistant Superintendent for the Dallas Independent School District.

Both internal and external candidates were reviewed by interview teams that included Executive Directors of Schools, principals and Assistant Superintendents. There were three rounds of interviews in total, and the committee recommended finalists for interviews with me and members of my Cabinet.

These appointments leave vacancies at two schools. We will work with both the Eckstein and Roxhill communities to develop a hiring plan that will include family and staff input. We will be in touch soon with each school community to ensure we have a highly qualified principal in place for the start of the 2012-13 school year.

Kim Whitworth

Ms. Whitworth has been the principal at Eckstein Middle School since 2007. She has been in education since 1994, when she taught math and debate at Inglewood Junior High in the Lake Washington School District. In 2002, she moved back to Seattle and taught math at Ballard High School, eventually pursuing her administration certification at Seattle Pacific University. She was the Assistant Principal at Ballard High School for three years before taking over at Eckstein.

At Eckstein, Ms. Whitworth has created a school that offers students and staff a place to continue a lifetime of learning. She worked with students, families and staff to develop a mission and five-year vision plan, and has built strong professional learning communities. The school’s state scores are consistently above state and district averages.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Economics at the University of Oregon.

Ms. Whitworth is looking forward to not only continuing to work with the Eckstein community, but with all students, family and staff in the Northeast Region. She said she sees this as an opportunity to carry on the great work begun by Mr. Brockman and a great group of principal leaders.

Carmela Dellino

Ms. Dellino has served as principal at Roxhill since 2008. She started her career in education in 1980, teaching seventh and eighth grades at St. Luke’s School in Shoreline. She taught English for four years at Blanchet High School and then shifted her focus to serving students and families as a school counselor. In this role, she worked for four years at Nelson Middle School and for 12 years at Shorewood High School. She became the assistant principal at Shorewood High School in Shoreline for three years before coming to Seattle.

Under her leadership at Roxhill Elementary, the school moved from a Level 1 – the lowest performing – to a Level 3 out of 5 performance levels. She is proud of her staff, who are committed to excellence for all students and collaboratively have instituted reform measures that aim to bridge the achievement gap and foster a love of learning. She also developed extended learning programs, which helped increase test scores and improved attendance, including the creation of the Roxhill Saturday Academy and other math and reading intervention programs. She has been honored to serve the students, staff and families of Roxhill, a community she truly loves and admires.

Ms. Dellino received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Italian Language and Literature and also a Masters in Education at the University of Washington.

As the West Seattle Executive Director, Ms. Dellino said she is pleased that she will continue to support not only the Roxhill community, but the entire region. She is humbled and honored to work with an excellent group of school leaders who are dedicated to the success of every student and is looking forward to furthering the work being done.

Please join me in congratulating Kim and Carmela!

13 Replies to "Roxhill Elementary principal Carmela Dellino promoted to executive director of West Seattle schools"

  • StringCheese July 17, 2012 (2:13 pm)

    This is fantastic news for West Seattle! Congratulations Ms. Dellino!

  • Cheryl July 17, 2012 (2:28 pm)

    Just hearing this news. As a parent of a Roxhill student who is going into 1st grade this fall, I’m SO bummed to hear this news (though hugely glad she is replacing Aurora Lora, and of course, she’ll be a wonderful asset to the District!).
    Now what happens?? This is such a loss for Roxhill!
    This really sucks for our school and our kids IMO.

  • Phoebi Crawford July 17, 2012 (2:40 pm)

    Ms. Dellino will shine wherever she goes. The district is lucky to have her. We have loved having her as our principal and know she will bring the same magic to her new position. Thank you Ms. Dellino, good luck!!

  • Cheryl July 17, 2012 (4:59 pm)

    Agree with you Phoebi! Just sad (selfishly) for Roxhill.

  • Oh man July 17, 2012 (5:46 pm)

    Carmela will be a tremendous asset for ALL our schools in West Seattle and is a HUGE improvement over her predecessor (who was political and a lightweight). She will continue to look after Roxhill. I think this is a boon actually. Roxhill is in the crosshairs of those politicos who want schools with 650+ kids, to heck with what parents want.

  • Spana July 17, 2012 (8:38 pm)

    Bittersweet! Ms Dellino will be a great asset in her new role I’m sure, just as she’s been so amazing at Roxhill. Maybe Ms Washington can step in as principal to keep Roxhill rocking!

  • Public School Advocate July 17, 2012 (11:04 pm)

    Great news! While I’m sure it’s hard for the Roxhill community to see her move on, this is great for West Seattle as a whole (and the district). The few times I’ve met Carmela, I’ve always been very impressed.

  • oliver July 18, 2012 (9:18 am)

    Finally someone with experience and a vested interest in west Seattle!

  • evergreen July 18, 2012 (9:41 am)

    Ms Dellino will probably always stay on top of what is happening with Roxhill, and yet now she has more power. I think you guys can only benefit from this!

  • Jerrica McDaniel July 18, 2012 (12:02 pm)

    Ms.Dellino has got to be the most caring, loving, and positive person I have ever met! It is because of her family orientated persona that draws me to Roxhill Elementary.. I’m absolutely sure that she will succeed in her new position as well as brighten everyones day with her beautiful smile. She will be greatly missed by her students, staff, parents, and community.. I am truly happy for her accomplishments and will support her 110%… We love you Ms. Dellino and don’t forget to drop by and say hello!

  • Lisa Y. July 18, 2012 (8:33 pm)

    Chris Robert would be a great pick as principal at Roxhill.

  • Sealth/Denny Dad July 19, 2012 (11:42 am)

    Lisa, thanks for the compliment!

    However, I do not have an administrative credential (required to be a principal), and I’m thrilled to be returning to the classroom in September as a 5th grade teacher at Roxhill.

    Congratulations to Carmela; West Seattle schools are fortunate to have her as Executive Director.


  • Bonnie July 19, 2012 (2:09 pm)

    Chris, I think you’d be great too! Just wish you had the admin. credential.

Sorry, comment time is over.