New principals ready for start of year

The Central Kitsap School District welcomes six new principals for the start of the school year. An article about Klahowya Secondary School’s Ryan Stevens appeared in Saturday’s issue. The following are brief introductions of the four new elementary school principals and the principal of alternative programs, a newly created position.

Jody Scott — Emerald Heights Elementary

Jody Scott is a Bremerton native who now resides in Belfair. She has been retired for a year and her last job was a four-year position as executive director of elementary teaching and learning for CKSD.

“I am part of the retire-rehire initiative that the state has in place and being a principal was my favorite job,” Scott said.

Formerly principal at Chimacum, Jackson Park and Tracyton elementary schools, she decided to come out of retirement for one year when the CKSD could not find a principal for Emerald Heights.

“I wanted to help the district and I have a lot of respect for this school and the people (who work here),” Scott said.

Before finding her passion for the principal role, Scott taught elementary education in CKSD for 17 years. She has a master’s degree in school administration from Pacific Lutheran University (1991) and a bachelor’s in elementary education from the University of Washington (1972).

Most looking forward to this school year:

“Working with the great kids and staff and helping them continue the high levels of achievement they’re seeing.”

Vicky Palmer — Silverdale Elementary

Vicky Palmer lived in the Walla Walla, Wash. area for 35 years and moved to East Bremerton for her new job.

“I came to education as a second career in 1989 from business administration,” Palmer said.

She wanted to pile up “vast experience in teaching” before she explored the administrative side of her new career venue.

“I spent a lot of energy ... as a teacher,” she said.

She was an elementary teacher for 15 years in the Walla Walla School District before she ventured into her administrative internship in 2000.

Last year she did her freshman principal experience at Amistad Elementary in Kennewick, Wash.

Palmer obtained her administrative certification in 2002 from Washington State University. She has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho (1994) and a bachelor’s of science degree in elementary education, with an English minor, from Walla Walla College (1989).

Most looking forward to this school year:

“I’m looking forward to the progressive planning that the school district has for synchronizing all the energy ... from one building to the next, from one classroom to the next. I think Central Kitsap is a great match for me because of the emphasis on student learning and quality of teaching.”

Jim Corsetti — Green Mountain Elementary

Jim Corsetti is from Concord, Calif. But in the last six years, he taught on Bainbridge Island. He was a sixth grade teacher for four years at Sakai Intermediate School. He then served as assistant principal for a year and went back into the classroom last school year, teaching fifth graders.

“What got me into being principal is really a systems thinking,” Corsetti said.

He was lured into the administrative side of education because he wanted to be a systems thinker and leader - connecting students, teachers and staff to really become engaged in education, “with students at the center of that.”

He said CKSD seemed to share a lot of the same values as his.

“I like CK’s reputation and their direction with powerful teaching and learning (focus),” Corsetti said.

With his principal certificate from the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership Program (2004), Corsetti is a first-time principal at Green Mountain this year. He has a master’s of science degree in environmental education. His bachelor’s degree is in environmental studies.

Most looking forward to this school year:

“The students arriving and my interactions with (them). I can’t wait for them to show up, actually. And (I am looking forward to) really giving to each student and helping them succeed.”

Jeff McCormick — Woodlands Elementary

Jeff McCormick transfered to Woodlands from Silverdale Elementary where he was principal for the last three years. This will be his 18th year in public education.

McCormick grew up in Chicago area and taught fifth grade in Illinois, before working at Mukilteo School District. He was a fourth and fifth grade teacher there, as well as a teacher on special assignment, helping instructors in 40 classrooms integrate technology in their lessons. He also was dean of students for three years in Mukilteo.

He said he was excited to switch to Woodlands, a school that has “some of the real strengths, but also some of the real challenges,” in CKSD. McCormick is particularly excited to be involved with the school’s program for deaf and hard-of-hearing preschool and elementary pupils.

“I’m really looking forward to working with students who have that challenge in their life,” he said. “I don’t know any sign language but I’ll be learning soon.”

His most recent schooling was at the University of Washington when he obtained a leadership and policy studies master’s degree and his principal credentials (2001). McCormick also has a master’s in educational technology. His bachelor’s in elementary education is from the University of Illinois.

Most looking forward to this school year:

“That’s easy. And that’s really focusing our efforts here on quality instruction.”

Richard Arena — Alternative Programs

Richard Arena taught business education and social studies at Olympic High School for three years. His new position as principal overseeing Westside and Eastside alternative high schools and New Frontiers Secondary Alternative School was created at the end of last school year when the district’s Title 1 coordinator Martha Skinner announced her retirement.

Arena comes to the new principal position from a vice principal role at OHS. Before becoming a teacher and later administrator at Olympic, Arena taught at Peninsula High School in Purdy.

In his new role, he will oversee summer school and eventually the district’s off-campus program as well.

When he was named to the new position in the spring, Arena said he was looking forward to working with the students and staff at the alternative schools because he has a lot of respect for them.

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