Tracey Naylor takes over at Hazelwood

February 6, 2015

By Staff

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When Hazelwood Elementary School students returned from winter break, a new face greeted them at the door.

Tracey Naylor officially began her duties as the school’s new principal Jan. 5, replacing interim-Principal Judy Busch. Busch came out of retirement while the district found a permanent replacement for Principal Cindy Farnsworth, now at Meadow Crest Early Learning Center.

Tracey Naylor

Tracey Naylor

Naylor, a graduate of Columbia University and American University, comes to Hazelwood from Campbell Hill Elementary School, where she served as the assistant principal.

Prior to serving in the Renton School District, she taught in Arizona and Louisiana as well as served as an instructional coach, principal in residence and director of instruction in Louisiana, New York and Washington, D.C., respectively.

Naylor took time to answer a few Newcastle News questions.

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

I have spent my professional career in anticipation of leading a school. I believe that Hazelwood’s staff, students and parents are ready to support a school that ensures high levels of achievement, college and career readiness, and equity and access for all.

How has your background prepared you for this position?

As a former teacher, instructional coach, resident principal and director of instruction, I led several key initiatives, including building and sustaining strong highly-capable programs, developing highly effective instructional models to support English language learners, creating high quality STEM programs rooted in scientific inquiry, constructing new curricula models aligned with the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards (pre-K-12), and shifting instruction to be in greater alignment with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed in the 21st century. Additionally, through my graduate studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College, along with my residency in New York City, I had an opportunity to spend time learning best practices and networking with school leaders from the highest performing schools across America.

Why did you decide to go into the education field?

After college, I applied and was accepted to Teach for America, a program that required a two-year commitment to teach in the nation’s highest need schools. This ignited a lifelong passion for education, school leadership and transformational change.

What excites you most about working at Hazelwood?

The potential for expanded excellence! Hazelwood’s staff, parents and students are innovative, eager to learn and relentlessly committed. I am truly thrilled to partner with this extraordinary team as we identify the key levers needed for educational excellence in the 21st century.

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

With new standards and expectations, a partnership between Hazelwood, the city of Newcastle and the city of Renton will be critical as we begin to craft and implement our new school improvement plan. I intend to continue strengthening relationships through this planning process as we collaboratively partner with Hazelwood parents to craft our key initiatives. By connecting various aspects of our greater community into the strategic plan, we can leverage our collective strengths and expand opportunities in service of all students and their future.

What are your goals for the rest of the school year?

My goal is to continue to learn about the Hazelwood community by connecting directly with staff, students and families. I hope to leverage all stakeholders in the creation of our theory of action and school vision.

What are your favorite activities outside of school?

My husband grew up and graduated from Bellevue High School, so he enjoys showing me around Washington and planning various expeditions to the variety of museums, parks, restaurants and theaters that adorn this area. I am a member of the Junior League of Seattle and treasure my opportunities to serve the greater Seattle area through my work as a trained volunteer. I also love playing basketball, watching movies and spending time outdoors.

P.S. My husband and I love brunch at The Golf Club at Newcastle! The view is extraordinary.

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