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Two Principal Transitions Announced for Next Year

At the November 12 School Board meeting, two principal transitions were announced by Superintendent Joel Aune. Both will be effective June 30:

Opstad Principal Selected to Lead Elementary School #6

Amy Wright, principal at Opstad Elementary School (OES), has been appointed principal of the new elementary school being built on the Snoqualmie Ridge. The new school is currently under construction and will open next fall in 2016. Principal Wright will continue in her current role as principal at Opstad Elementary through the end of this school year.

Wright has been the principal at Opstad for the past four years. Prior to serving at Opstad, Wright was principal at Stillwater Elementary School in Carnation for six years, and completed a superintendent internship with the Riverview School District. The majority of her career in education, however, has been serving in the Snoqualmie Valley School District. In 2005-06, she completed her principal internship at Cascade View Elementary School, the first year the new school opened. Previously, Wright taught at Fall City Elementary School for 15 years (from 1990-2005), and facilitated several district-wide activities for our schools, including teacher workshops, mentor programs, and curriculum development. She also grew up in the community and is a Mount Si High School alumna.

“We feel Ms. Amy Wright is a great fit for the principalship at Elementary #6,” explained Superintendent Joel Aune when making the announcement to the School Board. “She has a proven track record of success in the principalship ̶  and is held in the highest regard by the students, staff, and parents of the Opstad community. Ms. Wright’s creativity, vision, integrity, and interpersonal skill set will provide the type of leadership necessary to create a new school culture within which the interests and well-being of students will be always come first.”

Aune added, “I want to thank Ms. Wright for saying ‘yes’ to my request for her to take on this new and exciting leadership opportunity. Our new elementary will definitely be in good hands during its formative years.”

“I am truly honored to have been selected as principal of the new school,” said Amy Wright. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Opstad, working with its fine staff and families to build upon strong traditions. Looking ahead to next year, it will be a privilege to help the new learning community grow and to foster new family and staff connections. Most importantly, we will work to establish a supportive culture that provides students with a positive school experience and outstanding educational foundation.”

Chief Kanim Principal Announces His Resignation and Plans to Move in July

Kirk Dunckel, principal at Chief Kanim Middle School (CKMS), has also announced his plans to resign after this school year. With all his children out of the house after this year, he and his wife plan to move in July to a home they have purchased in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They want to be closer to family in Spokane and Montana, and Dunckel plans to pursue principal opportunities in the Coeur d’Alene area for next fall. He will continue as principal at Chief Kanim through this year, and assist with the transition when his replacement is hired.

Dunckel was hired by the Snoqualmie Valley School District in 1984 as the Snoqualmie Elementary School Physical Education teacher. He taught there for five years before transferring to Snoqualmie Middle School to teach Physical Education/Health and coach for two years. When Chief Kanim Middle School opened in 1991, he joined that staff to teach, coach, and serve as the athletic director. In 1996, Dunckel earned his Master Degree in Administration and was named assistant principal at Chief Kanim. After four years as the assistant principal, he was named Chief Kanim’s principal in 2000, where he has continued to serve for the past 15 years.

“During Mr. Dunckel’s professional career in the District, he has done a superior job ̶  earning the respect of parents, staff, and students. As principal, he has worked with the Chief Kanim community to create a strong and positive culture where the well-being of students is the primary focus. He has led with a philosophy that the middle school experience should provide students a foundation that is sound in terms of both academics AND social development,” stated Aune. “He is truly an outstanding principal and we will miss him. He leaves a legacy at Chief Kanim that will be a positive and lasting one.”

“While I am excited about my upcoming move to Idaho, I also have mixed emotions. I am so very proud of this school and extremely grateful for the honor to have served as principal at Chief Kanim Middle School,” said Kirk Dunckel. “It has been a thrill to live, work, and lead in such a great school district for the past 31 years.”

Process to Hire Principals for OES and CKMS

The District will soon launch a comprehensive process to hire the most qualified candidates for the two principal positions, in preparation for the 2016-17 school year. To begin the process, district administrators will be meeting with staff at both Opstad and Chief Kanim schools. The positions will be posted in mid-February to accept applications from internal and external candidates. Interviews with the most qualified candidates will follow later this spring, with the goal of announcing the new principals by May.