The new principal of Madrona K-8 school will be Farah Thaxton, Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson announced today in a news release.
The announcement comes four months after former Madrona principal Kaaren Andrews was abruptly tapped for reassignment to head up the Interagency Academy.
As CDNews reported at the time, the news ruffled feathers in the community, as it was initially delivered to parents via a short letter with no explanation for the move. Parents, students and staff held a rally to show their support for Andrews, though as the active comments section shows, Principal Andrews had her share of detractors as well.
Rita Sheckler, president of the Madrona PTSA, learned of the assignment on Friday and said the transition process from Andrews to Thaxton is already in the works. Thaxton officially takes over on July 1, but she will be working closely with Andrews to get up to speed before Andrews’ departure.
“We were all promised a smooth transition and that’s what we’re seeing,” Sheckler said. “I think it was our parents’ and staff’s voices that encouraged a thoughtful transition.”
Thaxton was the preferred pick of the three nominated by the team from Madrona K-8, who interviewed the finalists before making their recommendation to the district. Though the selection committee can list their preferences, the Superintendent has final say over the appointment.
“Ms. Thaxton has several of the attributes that we were seeking in our next principal – previous administration and classroom experience; experience working with a socio-economically and racially diverse population; and K-8 experience,” said Christina Williams, the head of the school’s principal selection team. “She was also able to quickly establish rapport with the Student Council when she interviewed with them.”
Per the release, Thaxton spent three years as a lead kindergarten teacher at Seattle’s Whittier Elementary, one year as a K-12 curriculum and instruction specialist for Victory Schools in the Philadelphia School District, and two years as assistant principal at Philadelphia’s Southwest Leadership Academy. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology/elementary education from Seattle Pacific University and a Master’s Degree in educational leadership/principal certification from the University of Delaware.