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]