Another West Seattle celebration today for a departing longtime principal – Gerrit Kischner, leaving Genesee Hill Elementary after 13 school years. After the last day of school, he was the guest of honor at a rooftop reception hosted by Kevin Broveleit of West Seattle Realty (WSB sponsor) atop Element 42, the Admiral building that’s home to WSR. Surrounded by Genesee Hill PTA leaders past and present, Kischner was presented with the plan for a tribute funded by community donations – a “buddy bench“:
Organizers hope the bench will be installed at the school by fall. Kischner will be well into his new role as principal of Thornton Creek Elementary by then.
He told those gathered this afternoon that it had been a “huge honor and privilege” to watch their kids grow. Before opening the newly built Genesee Hill in 2016, the school was Schmitz Park Elementary, and members of the Schmitz family were at today’s celebration to join in the tribute:
Dietrich Schmitz and Vicki Schmitz Block recalled the first-day-of-school flag ceremonies at the old school (which will be in use as an elementary school next year as temporary home to West Seattle Elementary, while its High Point building is expanded). Meantime, at Genesee Hill, assistant principal Liz Dunn has been chosen as Kischner’s successor.