SCHOOLS: Help Pathfinder K-8 say goodbye to principal David Dockendorf and assistant principal Lisa Clayton

The community is invited to help Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point say goodbye to its longtime principal and assistant principal, in two ways this week. The announcement is from Holly Rikhof:

Please help the Pathfinder K-8 School Community celebrate the legacy of our beloved Principal David Dockendorf and Assistant Principal Lisa Clayton, as we wish them well after 48 combined years of vision, leadership, and endless dedication to our school!

David Dockendorf joined Pathfinder in 1999 as the school’s third principal. Over the course of 23 years, he has guided the school through huge change and growth, while ensuring that Pathfinder remains true to its roots. He has hired all but one of the current staff at the school and has helped shape thousands of student’s love of learning over more than two decades of leadership. He has created a culture of community partnering for student success where teachers, staff, and parents come together. We will forever remember his chaperoning sold out school sleepovers and the auction performances that both brought the community together and supported our students. He is retiring at the end of the year after nearly four decades in public education.

Lisa Clayton started at Pathfinder in 1994 – Pathfinder’s third year. During her 25 years at the school, she has held a range of positions – librarian, kindergarten teacher, head teacher, and after a brief posting elsewhere, has been the Assistant Principal since 2011. We will miss her hard work and presence at the school, but wish her well in all future endeavors! She is leaving to become the Assistant Principal at Genesee Hill Elementary next year.

David and Lisa’s success has been rooted in a shared vision and dedication to teaching the whole child and providing each student with a rich academic experience. Pathfinder’s expeditionary learning model and commitment to outdoor education have been hallmarks of their tenure. The school added a middle school in 1998, and Lisa and David have been instrumental in growing the program into a dynamic K-8 model that has a waitlist for every grade and retains their own from kindergarten through to eighth grade. We are so grateful for the thriving school community that David and Lisa are leaving behind!

If you would like to share your congratulations and well wishes with David and/or Lisa, there will be a mailbox posted the last week of school, June 13-18, in front of the Pathfinder building (1901 SW Genesee St, Seattle) to collect cards and gifts from the community. It will be checked daily, and the contents will be presented to David and Lisa in memory boxes on June 18th.

In addition, at 2 pm on June 18th, the school will host a drive-by parade. All of the teachers and David and Lisa will be on hand, so come cheer from your vehicle for a memorable send-off!

4 Replies to "SCHOOLS: Help Pathfinder K-8 say goodbye to principal David Dockendorf and assistant principal Lisa Clayton"

  • Grateful Parent June 14, 2021 (11:09 am)

    Congratulations to both Mr. Dockendorf  and Ms. Clayton. Both were such great support to our family, many years ago, as our family worked through many issues with our son who joined our family at the age of 8. I had never spent any time in the principal’s office in my life until I became a parent. David was an enormous ally who became a friend as we would sit and chat in his office , sometimes about the issues at hand, sometimes about our new favorite recipes. Always able to inject humor and show how much he cared about his students AND their families. He is a treasure!! 

  • Bill June 14, 2021 (6:28 pm)

    Thank you David and Lisa. We will miss your compassionate leadership. Thank you for all of the amazing work you have done for our students and families!

  • BMC June 14, 2021 (9:40 pm)

    We will miss the both of you so much – its been a wonderful ride at Pathfinder : )

  • Maurwen June 15, 2021 (8:18 am)

    Congrats to David and Lisa great team of people to work with. All the best.

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