Everyone expects crying on the first day of kindergarten — from the parents, mainly. But I saw not a single tear during opening day at Fairmount Park Elementary on Wednesday. Despite the dirge of bad-news stories about American education, the feeling inside this bright, airy, refurbished and reopened West Seattle school was, overwhelmingly, hope.
The place is so shiny-new that an American flag hanging in the library still had its fresh-from-the-box creases. The math workbooks were yet to arrive.
But a new school does not mean newbie staff. Seattle Public Schools made the savvy decision to install veteran principal Julie Breidenbach at the helm — evidence of the increasing recognition around the role of school leaders in student success — and she, in turn, led a trail of former colleagues to Fairmount Park.More