We have been very busy winding up the year, finishing up all our end-of-the-year assessments and planning for next year. This includes lots of hiring, including our new Assistant Principal (AP). I’m very sad to be saying goodbye to Ms. McLane. She has been such a great member of our VRE family and will be greatly missed.
Our new Assistant Principal is Kristen Eckert. Kristen is the current AP at Graham Hill Elementary in South Seattle. She brings a lot of experience in instructional leadership, equity training and connecting with students. She’ll be a very nice addition to the VRE community.
We have also hired the following employees:
• Scott Skoglund – Nurse
• Dan Azer – 4th grade
• Lindsey Daniels – Kindergarten
• Kelly Reding – 1s grade
• Victoria Ang- 2nd grade
• Ben Fitch – K-2 SPED Focus
We are also gearing up to say goodbye to some staff due to retirement, moves and promotions.
Nurse Karen is retiring and moving to Orcas Island. She is the person everyone goes to for social, emotional or health support. Students and staff have relied on her for years as their rock during difficult times. She’s also a diehard professional.
Margaret Garrett (SPED IA) is our longest-running employee who has been with the district for 40 years (33 years here) and is also retiring this year. She is our historian and has the greatest work ethic of just about anyone I’ve ever seen. She is always cheerful, supportive, and sincere.
Mary Rains-Ivancic (SPED IA) is retiring as well. She has been in education, in various forms, for over 40 years. Mary has such a calming, positive approach to working with students. Her calming presence worked magic on students and her quick wit is appreciated by all.
Mary Anne Prussing (2nd grade teacher) is retiring after teaching for 43 years. Mary Anne is fully committed to social justice issues and culturally responsive teaching. She has gone above and beyond for all students but especially for historically underserved communities. Her commitment to social justice and love for all children has been greatly appreciated.
Kathy Hanson (Counselor) is leaving to take on a 1.0 district-funded job (she is PTA funded here and never knows from year-to-year if she’ll be renewed). Kathy is the best counselor I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. She always has the perfect, knowledgeable, research-based response to all situations. I will miss her expertise and cheery disposition.
Ms. McLane (Assistant Principal) is becoming a Principal of North Beach Elementary. Ms. McLane has been a perfect fit for both VRE and me. We have been great partners and I will greatly miss her expertise, hard-work and, mostly, sense of humor. I have honestly enjoyed working with her each and every day.
Meggie Meter (SPED Focus Teacher) is moving to Chicago. Meggie is an eternal optimist with a very infectious laugh and smile. She has been a very bright light in our building and has such a loving, caring demeanor with the students.
Annie Fields (Safety Patrol) has been providing loving, caring monitoring of the crossing on 75th for 24 years. Annie rarely, if ever, misses a day. She is here early every day and gets the job done rain, snow or shine. She is fully committed to making sure that our students get to school, and back home, safely every day.
Jesse Moen (4th grade teacher) is moving schools to be closer to her farm and horses. Jesse is a very optimistic, positive person who has excellent rapport with students. She’s what one would call a warm demander. She has a great way with students but holds them accountable as well. Not only is she a horse whisperer but she’s a kid whisperer too.
Monica Connors (Technology) is moving schools to be closer to her home. Monica has been extremely flexible, supportive and helpful in every way. Her expertise and support of technology in and out of the classroom has been very instrumental in assuring technology is accessible to all teachers and students.
I wish them all the best!! While there is a lot of change, change is good and presents a lot of opportunities. Our departing staff will be greatly missed and I’m also very excited for all the new staff coming in. It’s going to be another great year!!
It’s now time to set goals for summer and start accomplishing them! Do a flip on a trampoline, jump off the high dive, try something new, meet a new friend, or read that long book. Whatever your goal may be, start with the first step and go from there. Have a happy summer!!