Elementary school principal to leave in June
March 4, 2010
By Tim Pfarr
Newcastle Elementary Principal Christy Otley announced Feb. 5 that she will leave the school at the end of the school year. She will become principal at Grand Ridge Elementary School in the Issaquah Highlands, as Grand Ridge Principal Barb Walton plans to retire in June.
Otley, who has been at Newcastle Elementary since it opened, announced the news in a letter. However, she could not be reached for comment.“For the past six years, this school community has been such a family to me,” Otley wrote in her resignation letter. “I am following an important life lesson that we try to teach all of our students: Challenge and change are often necessary for growth and fresh perspectives.”
Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said Otley has done a tremendous job at Newcastle Elementary.
“Christy is a great principal and she’s going to do a great job at Grand Ridge,” Rasmussen said. “She’s a wonderful teacher, also.”
District officials created a survey to help in selecting a new principal for Newcastle Elementary, and it was available to members of the public until Feb. 23.
The survey asked what features of the school would be attractive to a principal, and what personal and professional characteristics are desirable in a new principal.
It also asked what should be considered during the transitional period between the principals, as well as what opportunities and challenges the principal, staff members, students and members of the community will face in the next three to five years.
The survey was distributed to staff members and parents; 21 staff members and 46 parents completed the survey, said Sara Niegowski, district spokeswoman.
She said staff members and parents gave similar responses on the survey, and those who responded said they would like a principal to be energetic, progressive, approachable and collaborative.
Responders also said the principal should be a good communicator who has a positive attitude, puts students first and is willing to engage parents.
Rasmussen said he hopes to choose a new principal for the school later this month or by early April.