Marla Erath takes over as Newcastle Elementary principal

September 2, 2010

By Tim Pfarr

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Marla Erath is taking over this year as principal of Newcastle Elementary School. By Tim Pfarr

Marla Erath, former Apollo Elementary School principal, is about to begin her first year as principal of Newcastle Elementary School.

Erath is a 13-year veteran of education, and she started her career as a teacher in first- and third-grade classrooms.

She spent the past 11 years in administration, beginning as an assistant principal at Captain Strong Elementary School in the Battle Ground, Wash. She worked as a principal in Battle Ground before moving to the Issaquah School District and taking the principal position at Apollo, where she has been for the past seven years.

Newcastle students attended Apollo before Newcastle Elementary opened in 2004.

What made you decide to take the job at Newcastle Elementary School?

It is always good to be open to change and new experiences. I have a passion for student learning and educational success.

How has your background prepared you for this position?

As this will be my 11th year as a building administrator, I feel I come well-prepared to take on the challenges of this position. I come to Newcastle with the background of a Bachelor of Arts in both elementary education (K-8) and special education (K-12). I have had experience teaching in both the primary and intermediate levels (first and third grade).

Over the years, I believe that I have learned how to address and accept change, how to lead staff and communities into powerful teaching, and how to instill a love for learning among students.

What excites you most about working in Newcastle?

I love being on the south end of the school district. There is a sense of community that is strong among our schools, our businesses and our families. With the past seven years at Apollo, I have had the chance to experience that community first hand, and I look forward to having that same sense of community and pride here at Newcastle.

How do you hope to continue strengthening relationships between the school and the community?

As I have done at previous schools, I plan to open up monthly coffee talks. Mochas with Marla will be held at Newcastle on the last Friday of every month (even thought I don’t drink coffee). There is no set agenda, just a time to be available to parents and the community to talk and share.

I think coffee talks allow for an informal way to communicate. It is important to me to build bonds and relationships with families, and this is just one way that I can connect.

What are your goals for the 2010-2011 school year?

When I think of goals for Newcastle Elementary, my mind first goes to the wonderful successes they have already experienced. My first goal for this coming school year is to maintain the momentum of educational success that has already been established.

What are your favorite activities outside of school?

I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I find stress relief in scrapbooking and in music. I play the piano and have sung semi-professionally for several years now (weddings, special events, etc.).

I enjoy spending time with my daughter, who is entering the Issaquah School District this school year as a kindergarten student. What a blessing to see the power of education from the perspective of a 5-year-old. There is nothing more exciting than starting kindergarten.

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