Monday, January 25, 2010

McGilvra principal is out

Effective last Friday, DeWanda Cook-Weaver is on an indefinite leave of absence as principal of McGilvra Elementary School. “We can’t say anything about it because it is a personnel matter,“ says Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Teresa Wippel.

Effective today, Birgit McShane, a former elementary school principal in the Seattle Public School system, has taken the reins at McGilvra as “interim principal.” It is possible that she will serve in that role through the end of the school year, according to Wippel. Officially, the school district will not comment on whether Cook-Weaver might return to McGilvra at some future date. To quote a statement this afternoon from a school district spokesperson: "We are not legally able to comment on the terms of the leave or speculate on the timeline."

McGilvra PTA President Bob Steedman was reticent about discussing the situation publicly, except to say that Cook-Weaver’s decision to leave was made for “personal reasons.” It is well known, however, that McGivra benefits from having a high level of parent involvement in the school, meaning a very activist PTA. This is a fact Cook-Weaver herself acknowledged when I interviewed her at the beginning of the school year (“What’s new in the schoolhouse?”). I’ve been told that some parents felt that her management style was not a “good fit” for the school. She had only been in the position at McGivra for four months at the time of her departure last week.

Steedman was full of praise for the district’s handling of the situation and, having just met McShane this morning, says he is excited that she’s on board. Both McShane and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson, he notes, will be attending the open house tomorrow evening at McGilvra (6:30 – 8:00 pm). The ostensible purpose of the event, scheduled earlier this year, is to provide information about the school to parents of children not yet enrolled. But the curious are also welcome.

[Photo courtesy of the McGilvra School Messenger]


  1. Yet another case of White liberals finding out that they really don't like strong people of color telling them that their little Aiden or Brooke is not really the center of the universe and that they should try raising the brat instead of blaming all their problems on the school district. Having dealt with MS. Cook-Weaver for close to two years at Lowell--I suspect most of the McGilvra parents were SCARED of her and started threatening the district b/c that's what White folks do when they don't get what they want...

  2. I think these comments have more to say about the problems Anonymous has than anything wrong with the School District, Ms. Cook-Weaver or the McGilvra families.

  3. white folks? Raise the brat? Wow.

  4. This is excellent news for the McGilvra community. It is good to see the the district is actually willing to take action with unprofessional principals


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