Thanks to the Summit Atlas parent who tipped us to a sudden change at West Seattle’s only charter school. Its founding principal Katie Bubalo, who most recently held the title of high-school executive director at Summit Atlas, which also serves middle-school grades at its Arbor Heights campus. California-headquartered Summit Public Schools confirmed to WSB that this is the letter sent last night to families by Summit’s senior director of schools Malia Burns:
We are reaching out to share with you the news that Ms. Bubalo will be stepping down as executive director of Summit Atlas High School. We are grateful for her service to our community and wish her well in her future endeavors.
We’ve heard you and will want to make sure that you have a strong voice in the selection of the school’s next leader. We will be holding two listening sessions to gather input from our families, teachers, and students about the characteristics they are looking for in a school leader. Together, we will create a school culture that reflects our shared values of inclusiveness and collaboration guided by a strong leader at the helm.
We are committed to making the transition a seamless one. I am pleased to announce that Andrea Klein, Summit Atlas Middle School’s Executive Director, will serve as interim executive director of Summit Atlas High School while we search for a permanent replacement. She is very knowledgeable of our school community, dedicated to ensuring students’ success, and has a track record of gaining the trust and respect of families and faculty. Kristina Brawley, our Dean of Culture and Instruction, will continue in her leadership role. She has been an incredible asset to the community since joining this fall. She will partner with Andrea to ensure continuity for students, faculty, and families. I will also be available to support you through the transition.
The listening sessions will take place on Thursday, January 16 at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, January 21 at 7:30 a.m. at Summit Atlas. We hope you will choose to attend the listening sessions and share your thoughts because they will be critical in shaping the future leadership of the school.
Throughout this process, we are steadfast in our commitment to maintaining our focus on students and families and ensuring a seamless transition. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrea at email@example.com, or Kristina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summit Atlas High School is a wonderful school with an even brighter future. I am proud of the hard work and unwavering dedication of our teachers, students, and families. I’m confident that we will see strong success for our students through the remainder of the school year.
The parent who tipped us to Bubalo’s departure called it a firing and said Bubalo was popular with students, who were writing protest letters to the Summit board and sharing stories today. We asked Summit for comment and their reply was to send us a copy of the letter. The school is in its third year of classes, having opened in August 2017 with sixth and ninth grades, adding grades each year and now up to sixth through eleventh. While charter schools’ operations are publicly funded, their buildings generally are not; a nonprofit footed the multimillion-dollar bill for buying the former church/supermarket site at 9601 35th SW and remodeling/expanding its building to house the school.