Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day Two for McGilvra's new principal

McGilvra Elementary's new "interim" principal, Birgit McShane (at center in the photo above), listens as seven McGilvra students speak extemporaneously on the subject "Why I Like McGilvra." It was Open House at the school this evening, and several dozen parents who are planning on (or at least considering) sending their children to McGilvra were in attendance for the presentation by PTA members, School District officers, and students. The event was held in the school library, following which there were tours of the classrooms, interactions with some very well-behaved McGilvra students, and questions for McGilvra's teachers and staff.

Also making a presentation was Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who gave an overview of the District's plans for the year, including how the new student assignment plan will (hopefully) work. Goodloe-Johnson proved quite adept in cutting off questions on why the school's departed principal, DeWanda Cook-Weaver, is now on leave.

It's my impression that many of McGilvra's parents are pleased with the change in leadership at the school. I had an opportunity to speak with McShane, who seemed pleasant, open, ready to get down to work--and perhaps slightly dazed by the suddenness of her return to the principal's role. She had retired from the district in 2008 after a long career, which included stints as principal at both Bagley (Green Lake) and Sacajawea (Lake City) Elementary schools. She herself is a graduate of the Seattle Schools (Roosevelt High School) and currently resides in Ballard. She is expected to be on board through the end of the school year (though the school district cannot confirm this because of the "personnel matter" involving Cook-Weaver that it's currently dealing with).

McShane agreed to let me quiz her once she gets acclimatized at the school. This I plan to do.

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