All new admin team inbound
Emerald RIdge will have an entire new team of administrators for the first time ever starting July 1
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Changes are coming to the Puyallup School District in July. Many administrators will be changing positions or moving between school districts, including here at ER.
Effective July 1 principal Karey Howell will become the assistant principal at Stahl Junior High, taking the place of Conchita Oliver-Moore, another former ER administrator. Also leaving ER is assistant principal Char Krause, who will become the director of transportation for the school district, assistant principal Mark Harris, who will become the assistant principal of Carson Elementary and dean of students Lisa Kusche, who will become the assistant principal of Aylen Junior High.
“We knew that Ms. Krause was leaving because she wanted a district position, and that Mrs. Kusche was finishing her administrative internship and was seeking to be an assistant principal, and we knew that would not be here, more than likely,” Howell said. “So, with that came the discussion of having just new people come in and start fresh from that. Mr. Hodge actually contacted me and asked me, when his assistant principal announced her retirement, he called me that night and said he would, if there were moves, he would like me to come over and be a part of his school.”
Kevin Hampton, the principal of Edgemont Junior High, will become ER’s new principal. Two of ER’s new assistant principals, Kamrica Ary-Turner and Michelle Fox, are coming from the Bethel School District and Richard Lasso is coming from Federal Way Public Schools.
“Ms. Fox, I’ve known her for several years; she’s a really strong leader,” Howell said. “She’s really smart, she’s got great instructional background and leadership and so I’m super excited for her to be part of this.”
This leaves Emerald Ridge with a completely new administrative staff, the first time this has occurred since the school opened in 2000.
With this new administrative team some students and staff are worried that ER traditions, culture and overall way of life will be lost, but Puyallup School District Superintendent Dr. Timothy Yeomans doesn’t think that is the case.
“The very first thing that Mr. Hampton and all of the team members are doing is they’re listening,” Yeomans said. “The district actually provides time for them to go and sit down with every single staff member to listen to the traditions and those things that are there. There is also a very high level of awareness at the district office in that Mr. [Casey] Cox was principal of Emerald Ridge, Mr. [Brian] Lowney was principal of Emerald Ridge and we’re very well aware of the traditions and the history of Emerald Ridge, so we’re very mindful of that.”
At the school board meeting at Glacier View Junior High April 20, it was announced that more administrative changes were to be made, particularly at the district office level.
“There will be some additional administrative changes made, mostly because we have openings,” chief academic officer for region one, Vince Pecchia said. “So, we need to hire for those positions.”
The changes were made for a variety of reasons.
“Every year there’s some level of administrative changes that are made and so, this year, just like in previous years, there were some moves that were made,” Pecchia said. “Those moves are kind of dependent on a couple of different factors. Sometimes it has to do with what the administrators themselves would like to do, as far as what their personal [or] professional goals are.”
Sometimes, however, the changes are made based on the need of a particular building. This can be because a certain administrator has a particular skill-set.
“It was made in an effort to make sure that everybody was aware and in consultation with all of our leaders and our principals,” Yeomans said. “We always make changes during the year that best align with talent and the skills of our administrators to the best location where they can be most advantageous.”
According to the Association of Washington School Principals website, there are dozens of job openings for administrators at all levels across the state. Unlike these other districts, the PSD was able to fill them very early in the process and no Puyallup openings were available.
“We also have a reality that if we don’t move very very quickly the people that you saw in audience out here have multiple opportunities to work in many school districts,” Yeomans said. “Just look at the huge list of positions that’s posted in the state and districts are posting them day after day. So, for us to be in this position really speaks to the stewardship of our chief academic officers of which Mr. Lowney is one, Mr. Pecchia, Mr. Parker and Mr. Cox who really led this process.”
Despite the well-beings of these changes, it can be hard on the administrators and the students.
“It’s tough because I’ve gotten close to staff and students, and its always hard to leave a school,” Howell said. “High school is different. You have different relationships with the kids. I’ve taught elementary, I love kids in general, so when you teach elementary it’s good, but it’s not the same.”