Well, what a fabulously beautiful July summer week. I trust each of you are finding time, at least a few quiet moments to rest, reflect, and renew during these sunny days of our summer season. These are our best days…
And even as we enjoy these summer days and seasonal routines, I want to remember that on Monday, one of our community members, a Bothell Police officer was killed in the line of duty. My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Shoop’s family, friends, and colleagues at the Bothell Police Department. This is a very emotional time for so many in our community. My hope is that, together, we can find that peace that passes all understanding.
Planning for Fall 2020
Today, a team comprised of more than 70 staff members completed a major phase of an intensive planning process for the reopening of our Northshore schools. There is still much more work to do, including planning instruction and professional development for staff, parent/guardians and students, as well as working to maintain sound financial stewardship. After additional work with our many labor groups, I hope to be able to release high level information next week about our plans for the Fall of 2020. Once we have approved plans from our implementation teams, I will share details about our fall instructional model by the beginning of August. I encourage you to visit our Planning for Fall 2020 page to learn more about our process and how we are moving forward. Although we still have a journey ahead of us as the health crisis continues to evolve, I want to take time to thank our planning team, our student and parent/guardian focus groups, our bargaining groups, everyone who shared their thoughts in our survey and the hundreds of families who reached out to me to personally share their thoughts on Northshore Learns 2.0, while bringing their best ideas and thinking to the table. We heard you and we are even more excited about education in Northshore. I continue to be so inspired with staff, parents/guardians, and students who roll up their sleeves and engage in a way that will further strengthen our more robust instructional model and build critical connections amongst one another. As we have long recognized, learning best happens in community, and I am grateful for our Northshore community.
I am thrilled to announce that during the summer months, Northshore will purchase new Chromebooks, iPads and MacBooks for students in order to provide continued support of one-to-one computing. These new devices will replace older devices, based on the age of the device, manufacturer support, operating system roadmap, and instructional programming needs. This refresh, which will be done annually for 25% of the District’s student devices, will allow the District to continue to provide access to students while they are in school buildings, as well as provide a solution for continued access to devices at home. This refresh and device access is part of the District 2 School One-to-One Initiative and is made possible by the generous support of Northshore voters who approved the tech levy in 2018. Northshore’s School Board approved the purchase of this refresh cycle and new devices at their recent July 13 meeting. “Access to current, reliable technology is critical for student learning,” said Executive Director of Technology, Allen Miedema. “By having this access, students and teachers can collaborate to enhance student learning and classroom community building by leveraging digital resources. This access is important when students are in school buildings, as well as when they are learning at home.” Thanks to our community’s commitment, our students will have the technology they need to succeed. You can read more about this initiative here.
Ruby Bridges Elementary Mascot
In late breaking news, our newest elementary school, Ruby Bridges Elementary, has selected its school mascot! Students, families and staff engaged in multiple surveys, brainstorming sessions and Zoom meet ups to finalize the mascot. It was important to students and staff to select a mascot with some connection to our local community and to ensure the mascot had a significant connection to the vision for Ruby Bridges Elementary. The top three choices for mascot were the Raven, the Orca and the River Otter. We are pleased to announce the River Otter as our newest Northshore mascot. Ms. Davis, Principal of Ruby Bridges shared, "The River Otter is symbolically connected to our Pacific Northwest Native American community as a symbol of curiosity, empathy and friendship. As we consider our school vision of inquiry-based learning, inclusion and belonging, this mascot is the perfect fit for who we want to be at Ruby Bridges!" You can learn more about Ruby Bridges Elementary and the new River Otter mascot by watching Wednesday’s Northshore Learns News.
As it is that time of the year for leadership transitions, I want to update you on a myriad of leadership position appointments for the upcoming school year. We’ve had a number of administrative moves and so I want to share the names and brief biographies of each of our leadership team members who are either new to the district or new to their role in the district.
Geetha George-Shapiro is the new principal at Kenmore Elementary School beginning with the 2020-21 school year. Ms. George-Shapiro has served as the assistant principal at Bothell High School the past two years. Before moving to Washington State from New York, she served as an assistant principal at the middle school and high school level. Ms. George-Shapiro began her teaching career with elementary age students in California and is thrilled to return to the age group where her teaching experience began. Ms. George-Shapiro earned her Master of Education, Public School Building Leadership from Columbia University in New York, New York. She also earned a Master of Education in Cross Cultural Teaching from National University in San Jose, California. Ms. George-Shapiro earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies also from National University.
Michael Griffin is the new principal at Lockwood Elementary School beginning with the 2020-21 school year. Mr. Griffin comes to us most recently from the Seattle School District where he served as an assistant principal at West Seattle High School. Prior to that he was an assistant principal at Rose Hill Middle School in the Lake Washington School District. Mr. Griffin has served in various school roles at all levels in New York, Tacoma and through Teach for America. Mr. Griffin earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Washington. He completed his Master’s in Science of Education from Pace University in New York. Mr. Griffin completed his principal certification for the State of Washington through the Danforth Program at the University of Washington
Amber Pacquer is the new principal for Hollywood Hill Elementary. Ms. Pacquer most recently served as assistant principal at Canyon Park Middle School in the Northshore School District. She also has experience at the middle school and elementary levels with a total of ten years of administrative experience. Ms. Pacquer grew up in Arizona and attended Northern Arizona University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. She earned her Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and principal certification from Seattle Pacific University. Ms. Pacquer says she is thrilled to return to the community where her administrative career began in Northshore. She added that she looks forward to partnering with each and every Hollywood Hill Stars community member in the coming days.
Elementary Assistant Principals
We are welcoming Sean Shoenfeldt to Crystal Springs as their new assistant principal. Mr. Shoenfeldt has been in elementary education for 20 years, twelve years as a teacher and the last eight years as a building administrator. He comes to us most recently from Tyee Park Elementary in Lakewood where he was an administrator for the last four years. When you ask Sean to talk about himself, in addition to his rich educational experiences, his thoughts will quickly turn to the importance of his family in his life. We are delighted to make him a part of our Northshore family. Mr. Shoenfeldt earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communications, a master’s in Education from Central Washington University with an emphasis on levels from special education to talented and gifted, and his administrative certificate, with a focus on leadership, from City University in Tacoma.
Denise Waters is the new assistant principal at Frank Love Elementary. Denise notes that Frank Love provides her with an opportunity to go to a building that has a special place in her heart from the days when she supported the District’s rollout of full day Kindergarten. Prior to coming to our district, Ms. Waters was an elementary principal in the Issaquah School District. She started her teaching career in the Entiat School District as an elementary teacher after finishing her degree in elementary education from City University. She completed her administrative credential through City University, then moved to the Lake Washington School District where she taught at Rockwell Elementary School from 2011 to 2014. Ms. Waters shared that she is excited to join the leadership team at Frank Love.
It is my pleasure to introduce Myra Arnone as the new principal of Canyon Park Middle School. Ms. Arnone comes to us from Sammamish High School in Bellevue where she was an assistant principal. Previous to that she taught middle school and high school science, was the Science Department Chair, ASB activities coordinator, and Global Health STEM Program Developer at Redmond High School. Ms. Arnone earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology and my master’s in Teaching at the University of Memphis. She notes that her personal values around education started in her own home – her mother has been a teacher for over thirty years – as did modeling of respect, collaboration, and serving others. These principles have guided her through 19 years in education, and will continue to serve her well in our community.
Secondary Assistant Principals
It is a pleasure to introduce Richard Brown, Jr. as our new assistant principal at Bothell High School. Mr. Brown comes to us from Bellevue High School, where he served for seven years as a counselor and a Counselor on Special Assignment working on suicide prevention and graduation initiatives at the district level. Richard earned his bachelor’s in Marketing at Morehouse College. His time as a high school football coach and para educator in the classroom pulled him back to school to earn his master’s in Guidance Counseling. He recently completed his administrative certification at the University of Washington Danforth Program. We are excited for what Richard will bring to our Bothell High students, families, staff, and community.
It is with pleasure that I announce Ebonisha Washington as the new campus assistant principal at Skyview and Canyon Creek. The expansion of Skyview and Canyon Creek has increased Canyon Creek's enrollment by over 200 students. Ms. Washington comes to us from the Seattle School District where she served in a variety of capacities including academic interventionist at the Orca K-8 school. She shares a deep passion for equity and inclusion in education. Ms. Washington earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Western Washington University, her master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University and recently completed her administrative certification at the University of Washington Danforth Program. We are excited to have her bring her leadership, talents, and enthusiasm to the District.
Please help me welcome David Watson as the new assistant principal at Canyon Park Middle School. Mr. Watson is originally from Sacramento, California, graduating from California State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. During his early career in law enforcement, he saw and heard, first-hand, how critical it is for loving adults to teach, guide, and support kids during their middle and high school years. Early intervention, he observed, was essential to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. He went back to school to earn his master’s in both Leadership and Organizational Studies as well as Teaching. He started his education career at O’Dea High School teaching English, Math, and the American legal system. Additionally, he coached wrestling and baseball, and facilitated the Black Students United for Excellence Club. He returned to school to earn a Masters in Educational Administration at Seattle University, and spent the last two years as an assistant principal at George Parish and St. Edward Parish schools in Seattle. We are excited to have his passion and expertise at Canyon Park.
District Administration/Support Services
Last year, Katie Bjornstad split her time between Student Services and Skyview Middle School. However, with our transition to remote learning, there has been a significant demand for her expertise and time in Student Services. Ms. Bjornstad will be joining Student Services on a full-time basis in the fall to continue her support of our remote learning platform. Prior to joining Northshore, she spent five years with the Edmonds School District where she was principal of the Edmonds eLearning Academy and was also the original teacher for the program for seven years. Prior to that, she was a project manager at Scriber Lake High School in Edmonds. Ms. Bjornstad earned her Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Cincinnati, her teaching certification in secondary education from Cleveland State University, an Instructional Designer Certification in Instructional Design from the University of Washington, a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Washington Bothell, and her administrative certificate in administration from Seattle Pacific University.
As we move forward, I am pleased to announce that Shervon Frazier is my new executive assistant. She comes to us from her most recent role as Legal Operations Manager in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ms. Frazier has already begun transitioning into her position with the help of my interim executive assistant, Jane Pryne. Prior to her role as a Legal Operations Manager, Ms. Frazier held executive assistant roles, was a paralegal and legal secretary. She also served in the U.S. Air Force and was a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve. I am excited to welcome Ms. Frazier whose skillset and presence will be a wonderful addition to Team Northshore!
I am pleased to announce Joy Kuhlmann as our new contracts and procurement manager. She has over ten years of experience working in public procurement, with an emphasis working in local school districts. Ms. Kuhlmann has been an active participant in a number of professional organizations, including the Institute for Public Procurement and the Washington Association of School Business Officials (WASBO). She has served as WASBO’s co-chair and chairperson of the Purchasing/Warehouse Committee for three years, and she’s shared her expertise on numerous panels at WASBO annual conferences. Ms. Kuhlmann attended Green River College with a focus in Business Management. She is dedicated to "doing the right thing, the right way" and has a deep commitment to serving as a public employee and good steward to our community. She says she looks forward to being part of the Northshore Family and building relationships with internal and external customers!
We are pleased to have JC Lamer as the new supervisor for the warehouse. Mr. Lamer excelled as the Lead Driver in the Warehouse for Northshore School District for the past three years. Before stepping into the lead role, he was a Warehouse Driver for the District for five years and loved being a part of the team. Prior to the joining the District Mr. Lamer had over 25 years of management experience ranging from a retail environment to being the manager of a warehouse in Seattle.
I am pleased to announce that Jef Miller has moved from his role as systems analyst to senior systems administrator. Mr. Miller will provide leadership and strategic vision in information management, data controls & reporting, and information security. He has been a critical component of the District’s support structure for information systems for several years, focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on business systems. In addition to providing exemplary services within Technology, Mr. Miller has provided stability, vision, and planning to other departments within Northshore. He earned his undergraduate degree in Accounting and has been a member of Team Northshore for 17 years.
I am pleased to announce that Dri Ralph became the full-time Director of Capital Projects in April after serving as interim director since December 2019. Ms. Ralph joined the Northshore School District as a planning and design administrator in May 2018. She served as the project manager for the Skyview/Canyon Creek expansion and the Northshore Concert Hall at Inglemoor. Prior to joining Northshore, Ms. Ralph worked for the King County Library System for 14 years where she managed the 46 library construction projects. Prior to moving to into capital facilities planning, Ms. Ralph was the environmental planner for the City of Bremerton. Ms. Ralph earned a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Whitman College and a Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.
I'm pleased to announce that Melissa Riley will be joining the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Department next school year as the Assistant Director of Equity Pedagogy. As part of her role, Melissa will oversee the implementation of our Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services Plan (CCEIS), the development of Ethnic Studies in partnership with the Equity and Diversity Department, and she will collaboratively design innovative systems and processes that enhance opportunities and eliminate barriers for students. Ms. Riley earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Whitman College, her Master of Education at City University and Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington Bothell. In addition, she has a professional license in elementary K-8 and endorsements in reading K-12 and sociology 4-12.
I am pleased to announce that Ayva Thomas will be moving from the position of Equity and Diversity Specialist to Assistant Director of Equity and Diversity. Ms. Thomas has been with the Equity and Diversity Department since 2016. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Community Psychology from the University of Washington, a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies from the University of Washington and her program administrator certification from the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington. Ms. Thomas hopes to enter into an educational doctorate program next year. She has a deep passion for social justice and educational equity for all students, and will continue to lead the development and implementation of several department and District initiatives.
I'm pleased to announce that Jon Young has rejoined Team Northshore in the role of Assistant Director of Human Resources. He will be responsible for supporting both the NSEA-ESP and NEOPA associations as well as other responsibilities within HR. Mr. Young started his career as a band teacher at the middle and high school levels. After earning a master's degree from Gonzaga, he transitioned to administration as the assistant principal at Inglemoor High School. Following a number of years at Inglemoor, he moved over to the Lake Washington School District to serve as an administrator at the middle and elementary level. He says he couldn't be more excited to return to the Northshore family and serve the community that helped him develop as a leader. Please join me in welcoming Jon back to Northshore.
And finally, I am pleased to announce that Lisa Youngblood Hall is stepping into a new role as Chief Communications and Experience Officer. This position will set the experience roadmap for increasing understanding of students, families and the community among all employees, and increasing the understanding of all employees among District and building leaders. This work is an important part of our strategic plan work. Ms. Youngblood Hall is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, Film with a minor in Journalism. Her rich experience in community relations, storytelling and research with broadcast news and her years at the Oprah Show will certainly contribute to the work in front of her. In addition to her three years as our Communications Director, she brings a wealth of leadership experience, most recently as communications director at the University of Washington Bothell.
As I think of all that is before us, and all that is behind us, I am reminded of our purpose and path by the provocative words of Brené Brown as she shared; “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” I continue to reflect on these words and ideas; together, all things are possible…
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.