West Seattle schools: Lafayette Elementary principal leaving

Thanks to the Lafayette Elementary parent who just forwarded this e-mail from Seattle Public Schools official Jon Halfaker:

While the search for a new Executive Director of Schools for the Southwest Region is underway, I have been asked to communicate an important change in your school’s principal. Principal Robert Gallagher informed us yesterday that he has chosen to pursue a leadership position with another district, and is resigning from his position as principal of Lafayette Elementary effective July 31. The process for replacing Mr. Gallagher will commence immediately in an effort to have a principal in place by the beginning of August.

We thank Mr. Gallagher for his service to the Lafayette community, and wish him much success in his future endeavors.

Lafayette is a great community and I know that the caring, supportive circle of staff and families will be able to help our students remain focused on all the positive aspects that will continue to make Lafayette an amazing learning environment.

Gallagher took over at Lafayette three years ago, after two years of multiple principal changes, and told WSB at the time that he planned to stay “for the long haul.” At least two other SPS elementaries in West Seattle will have new principals next year: Alki and Roxhill. (Added Saturday morning: Thanks to commenter Christopher for pointing out Sanislo’s principal also has left. We have since been forwarded that announcement, which also mentioned Erika Ayer‘s appointment as the new principal.)

P.S. We hadn’t previously heard that this region’s executive director of schools Israel Vela was leaving too; (updated) turns out he’s leaving to be assistant superintendent of the Kent school district. (Like Gallagher, Vela joined the district three years ago.)

In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns, or anything you want to discuss about SPS, take note that our area’s elected School Board member Leslie Harris has her next community-conversation meeting at 3 pm tomorrow (Saturday, July 16th), at Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson).

7 Replies to "West Seattle schools: Lafayette Elementary principal leaving"

  • LauraWM July 15, 2016 (10:07 pm)

    Pretty typical of administrators lately, I am sad to say.

  • CHRISTOPHER CHORNEY July 16, 2016 (8:56 am)

    And the Principal of Sanislo is leaving for a position in California.  He came to Sanislo 3 years ago. 

    • WSB July 16, 2016 (9:27 am)

      Thanks, Christopher, had not heard that. The district’s communications staff (which includes media relations) has gone through major changes and hasn’t been sending out major announcements like principals at all … so we appreciate parent forwards of e-mails more than ever. After the mention of Israel Vela’s departure in the Lafayette note above, I had to burrow into the district website’s weekly memos from the superintendent to the school board in order to find confirmation.

      I see Mr. Rhodes’ announcement *is* on the Sanislo website, at least, posted on the last day of the school year.

      None of the other three schools’ websites feature their respective announcements … I will be following up with the district on Monday to ask if any of these four local elementary-principal positions have been filled yet. – TR

      (Update – thanks to the person who subsequently e-mailed the district announcement about Sanislo’s principal, which included news of the appointment of Erika Ayer as his successor.)

  • WSJoe July 16, 2016 (9:59 pm)

    So glad we didn’t get slotted to Lafayette.

  • Wsres July 16, 2016 (10:04 pm)

    Interesting that so many are leaving from the southwest region.  

  • EricB July 22, 2016 (5:09 pm)

    Erika Ayer is actually returning to West Seattle.  She was assistant principal at Pathfinder for several years.  She was a terrific administrator, and I think Sanislo is very lucky to have gotten her.

    • WSB July 22, 2016 (5:21 pm)

      Thank you. I did get, belatedly, copies of all the announcements (see 7/22 story) – the district has had some personnel shortages in communications and stopped sending out principal announcements to media, so if we didn’t get reader tips, we didn’t know – and that’s probably in the backgrounder on her; I hope later today/tonight to PDF them all and link them in that story.- TR

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