My name is
Melissa Thienes and I am excited to introduce myself as the new principal of
Larchmont Elementary School. Over the summer I have had the privilege to speak
to staff, families, former and current students, and some community members.
Everyone I spoke to told me how much they valued Larchmont Elementary and gave
personal stories of how the school positively impacted them or their children. I
spoke to one person who had attended Larchmont twenty years ago and she still talked
about her love for Larchmont Elementary. As I was reflecting on these summer conversations
it was clear to me how much Larchmont Elementary means to everyone. I feel honored
to have been appointed to this position and to be part of this community.
to Larchmont, I most recently came from Bow Lake Elementary in the Highline
School District. While at Bow Lake Elementary I was a Literacy/ELL
instructional coach for one year and then held the position of Assistant
Principal for the last four years. Prior to that I was an elementary teacher
and summer school coordinator in the Tukwila School District for ten years. Regardless
of what role or job I was performing, my focus was on my belief that all
students can learn and should be held to high standards. I believe a school
should be caring and responsive to all students while encouraging them to
perform to their highest potential.
To create a
positive learning environment and to promote high standards there needs to be
collaboration, vision, communication, respect, flexibility, and organization. In
August I met with the Larchmont staff and shared my vision for the year which
incorporated these ideals. My vision for
Larchmont this year focuses on systems to promote consistency school wide and using
feedback to reach our school improvement goals, which is based on student
achievement. As a staff we reviewed communication methods, our discipline
process, daily instructional and planning practices, collaboration
opportunities, and our staff handbook. We had a productive time together and I
am eager to see what this year brings.
As we start
the year, and throughout the year, I look forward to getting to know you and
your children. I met many of you at our Family Meet and Greet on August 30th
during the scavenger hunt. That was fun! If we didn’t get a chance to
talk then please find me the next time you are at Larchmont and say “Hello.” Also,
please save the upcoming date-Thursday September 21st at 5:30 PM for
I am thankful to be part of this school community and I am looking forward to a
great year at Larchmont Elementary.