National Principals Month
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Summary: October is National Principal Month, and Seattle Public Schools is highlighting some of our amazing school leaders.
We Love Our School Leaders
Our school leaders put the PAL in principal! They create joyful, memorable experiences for students that make their school feel safe, warm and welcoming.
October is National Principal Month, and Seattle Public Schools is highlighting some of our amazing school leaders. We asked you to share what you love about your school principal. Here are some of the shout outs our community shared. See more principal highlights and join the conversation with us on social media.
Katherine May, Thurgood Marshall Elementary
I like being a student at Thurgood Marshall. I like having you as principal for 2021 and 2022. I hope you’re principal for next year, and I like your work. I like getting stickers. Shout out to Ms. May!
– Julian Johnson Coats, student
Dr. Barbara Casey, The Center School
She is an amazing principal to say the least. I find her highly supportive – not only to students but to the staff as well. In all my years with SPS, she is by far the best mentor, leader and principal that I have come across.
– Angel Graves, Whole Chile Whole Day Care Coordinator
Kristine McLane, North Beach Elementary
Principal McLane is a wonderful principal. She is a dedicated professional who works tirelessly behind the scenes for her teachers, staff, and students. She works hard every day and is always, always, always working to make North Beach the amazing school it is.
Thank you, Ms. McLane!
– Beth Carman, North Beach PTA president
William Jackson, Nathan Hale High School
Our principal is consistently finding ways to support the staff and resolve issues in a positive way. He leads looking forward. Principal Jackson worked to include student voice in our decision making and always makes time to listen to ideas. He has facilitated inclusive hiring practices.
He leads with love and works to move our community to fully support the success of our students furthest from educational justice. Principal Jackson is a learner and a leader, and that is a powerful combination. We have only just begun to see what this principal is capable of.
– Tony Renouard, Nathan Hale Building Leadership (Senate) Chair
Dr. Maria Breuder, McGilvra Elementary
I would like to give a shout out to the principal of McGilvra Elementary, Dr. Breuder. She is approachable, efficient and quickly gets to know all the new students in the school. My incoming kindergartner already loves her. Thank you for all that you do for our school, Dr. Breuder
– Gayatri Thacker, parent
Sharonda Willingham, Interagency Academy
Principal Sharonda Willingham is a strong, responsive, positive leader who recognizes the complexity of her role. She empowers her staff, sets actionable plans to make lasting improvements, sets the tone and expects high standards from her team, staff and students.
There is a visible lift to both equity and inclusion in her vision and I am proud to work, learn and grow under her leadership.
– Traci Thirdgill, School and Family Partnership Coordinator for Interagency Academy
Dr. Tarance Hart, Garfield High School
Shout out to Dr. Tarance Hart, our principal at Garfield. He stuck with us after a turbulent first year on the job and has provided steady, determined, compassionate leadership. He is a clear communicator and good listener, and he has a vision for moving our school in a positive direction.
Dr. Hart even oversaw a very successful Centennial Celebration for our school despite being new to the community. He’s embraced the Bulldog Spirit. Thanks, Dr. Hart!
– Daniel Young, Garfield High School teacher
Owen Gonder, Cascade Parent Partnership
I would like to let people know how lucky Seattle Public Schools is to have Principal Owen Gonder on staff. He started a few years ago as the principal of our little alternative school called Cascade Parent Partnership. Alternative Learning Environment (ALE) was new to him, but he quickly embraced our unique model as we welcomed all kinds of learners into our community.
Then the pandemic hit, and Principal Gonder guided us through that maze, seeing us through to the other side. He never gave up, even though it was tough. He stayed solid and present. We knew we could count on him.
Last school year, the district decided to keep a virtual program available to students, and asked Owen to take on this new model for 6-12 grade students in addition to running the Parent Partnership. This was no picnic. Getting the Virtual Option off the ground was massively challenging. He had to hire staff, prepare curriculum, and field oh so many emails, phone calls, and take meetings all while keeping up with the Parent Partnership.
This year, the K-5 Virtual Option was added to our 6-12 model, and Owen again rose to the challenge with courage, patience, and energy to prepare again for a new program in a new school year while managing the existing ones.
All of this was happening amongst a building remodel and throughout the pandemic. I honestly don’t think anyone else besides Owen would still be standing here, forging the way forward, steady and solid as ever.
– Aldona Mitchell, Cascade Parent Partnership K-8 registrar
Dan Golosman, Seattle Skills Center
I started working with Dan as a teacher and professional development colleague in September 2019 and was immediately impressed with his capacity to hold all the stressors of being a principal, while responding with kindness and a can do attitude no matter what comes his way.
The Skills Center is incredibly complex, with high school students all over the district traveling to Skills Center sites for morning and afternoon classes in a variety of industries. With only one secretary for support, Mr. Golosman does everything from recruiting students, applying policies for district compliance, writing grants, running supplies around the district, subbing, and making himself available to teachers when they just need someone to talk to. He is a problem-solver, carrying out that plethora of tasks, all while maintaining the vision of the Skills Center and the powerful place it can be for students who thrive in a hands-on environment and smaller classes.
Because of Mr. Golosman’s efforts over the past several years as principal of the Skills Center, teachers who have vital industry experience can help high school students graduate on time and find a pathway to the next step in their lives, whether in an industry or in college. His attitude and his determination are remarkable. I have worked with a lot of principals in my life and have rarely met one with Mr. Golosman’s spirit!
– Dr. Genét Simone, Teaching Academy/Careers in Education instructor