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May 24, 2012 at 4:26 PM

New principal named at school where investigation took place

Lafayette Elementary School learned the name of its next principal today, continuing what has been a busy week for the West Seattle school.

Shauna Heath, a West Seattle resident who currently leads Sunrise Elementary in Kent, will take the reins of Lafayette on July 1.

Heath started her career as a special-education teacher in Washington state, but she’s also worked as a principal in Tennessee and Georgia.

“The selection team was particularly impressed with her knowledge of curriculum and instruction, her years of experience as a school and district administrator, and her dedication to the West Seattle community as a resident and parent,” Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield wrote in a letter to parents.

Heath will succeed Jo Lute-Ervin, a principal who announced her departure from the school in February. Lute-Ervin, who is in her first year at the school, plans to take up another administrator position in the district.

Months after her announcement, Lute-Ervin became the subject of an internal investigation related to her handling of alleged inappropriate behavior by a third grade student during lunch recess.

Lute-Ervin individually interviewed five student witnesses to the behavior, without their parents present, and asked some of them to demonstrate what they saw.

The internal investigation, released earlier this week, described those actions as not in keeping with best practices but not violations of school district policy.

Enfield plans to talk to the district’s principal union about tweaking the policy, a spokeswoman said today.

Comments | More in Education | Topics: Jo Lute-Ervin, Seattle Public Schools, Shauna Heath

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