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Back to the old school

Next school year, the Cubs will have a new principal, but Franklyn MacKenzie will be a familiar face in the hallways of Central Kitsap Junior High School.

Not only is he planning to spend 10 days between now and the summer break getting to know the school’s inner-workings, he used to work there when he first came to the CK School District. MacKenzie taught math and science and completed his administrative internship there. He also took on the dean of students title for a year before moving to Central Kitsap High School seven years ago to be the assistant principal.

At the high school, he oversees master scheduling, counseling, special education, athletics, discipline and evaluation of teachers.

Even though he was at CKJH for eight years, the turnover of teachers has left only about a dozen MacKenzie worked with and some of them are retiring at the end of the school year, said Barbara Gilchrist, the CKJH principal who is retiring herself in the spring.

“I think I just look forward to going back to the energy of a junior high,” MacKenzie said. “Another piece of it is the connection I will have with the high school and the programs we can develop with that.”

The principal-to-be also is excited about the parent involvement at CKJH. With the largest Parent Teacher Association group in the region’s secondary schools, nearing 400 members, the Cubs’ parents are involved in their students’ education.

As part of the transition between the high school and junior high, MacKenzie is planning to devote one of his 10 days at CKJH to parents, not just PTA members, who wish to meet him, Gilchrist said.

Because MacKenzie works within CKSD and was hired so early for a position that starts next school year, he is able to spend the time learning about his new school and ease into the principal role, while continuing his duties at CKHS.

Dean of Students Bill Rosen will take over for MacKenzie whenever the latter spends a day at the junior high school.

In a time when the district is facing a new math curriculum and new state graduation standards and Washington Assessment of Student Learning tests mandate expanding eighth and ninth grade science to a full-year requirement from the semester-long programs now in place, CKJH will benefit from acquiring a former math and science junior high teacher as a principal.

The transition also will be beneficial, giving MacKenzie a chance to get up to speed with the CKJH details, like

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