Board approves hiring of new LWES principal

Board approves hiring of new LWES principal
Posted on 04/30/2020
Photo of new LW Principal Melanie Ready

The next principal of Lake Wilderness Elementary says she looks forward to building relationships with students, families and staff.

After spending a good portion of her educational career in a large school district, Melanie Ready (pronounced “Reedy”) said she is interested in working for Tahoma because of its foundational beliefs and its smaller feel.

“Tahoma is family oriented. It’s definitely a community, and I value that so much,” Ready said in a phone interview.

Growing up in a small town in Colorado, playing school was a favorite pastime that soon cemented into a plan for her someday-profession.

“I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a teacher,” Ready said. She never veered from that path, and earned her initial certificate in Colorado, where she began teaching before moving to Washington state.

Ready currently is associate principal at Northwood Elementary and West Mercer Elementary in the Mercer Island School District; before that, she was an administrative intern at Sawyer Woods Elementary and previously worked as a mentor program specialist and a math instructional support specialist in the Kent School District. She taught a variety of elementary school grades from 2000-2010, and earned her principal certification and master’s degree in education from the University of Washington.

Working in math instructional support and as a mentor for new teachers inspired the shift in her career to the administrative side.

“I saw how powerful mentoring could be in helping to create a positive atmosphere,” Ready added. Through the years, some of her favorite moments professionally have been watching a student have a “lightbulb” moment. “It’s nothing that you’ve done for them, necessarily, but when you see them owning that learning and that joy and light go off.” Similarly, helping new teachers through tough situations, listening and supporting them as they work through a problem and persevere has also been rewarding, she said.

The two Mercer Island elementary schools she currently works at have a combined enrollment of about the student population at Lake Wilderness Elementary. Ready said she’s eager to invest her time in one location with a constant group of students, staff and families.

“I’m excited to be a part of one school’s culture; to form those relationships and be there day to day,” Ready said.

She added that she is hoping to get to know everyone, listen and learn about what students, staff and families already love about LWES, and which areas aren’t working for all learners. “I look forward to hearing from everyone, getting to know the students and being part of the school community.”

Ready and her husband, Jason, live in Covington with their three children and family dog, Hannah. She enjoys camping, eating sushi and watching football (especially the Broncos). The family’s current favorite book series is the “13-Story Treehouse.”

Current LWES Principal Dr. Audrey Meyers is leaving her position to focus on providing support for students and staff in social and emotional health, which is an area of special interest to her. It will also meet a need to bring more focus to her own family. Ready’s hiring was approved by the Tahoma School Board Tuesday evening, and she will begin July 1.

Parent Lucy Santos helped share parent/guardian opinion on the interview panel.

"The process of choosing the right person for the principal position was a wonderful example of how Tahoma really seeks to collaborate and include parents in the educational community. I was really impressed with how the opinions of parents on the panel were considered as equally important as the Tahoma SD staff on the panel,” Santos said. “I feel strongly that the best candidate was presented to the board for the position of principal. Melanie Ready will be a wonderful addition to our community!"

Parent and Lake Wilderness PTA President Liana Crandall also served on the interview panel. Crandall said she thought the applicant pool included many high-quality applicants who would be an asset to Tahoma.

“I thought the interview process was very thorough and gave a good base for our discussion. Having so many voices contribute to the discussion was really valuable and gave me insight into qualities of each candidate I might have missed,” Crandall said. “I’m excited to meet Mrs. Ready in the fall. She had excellent recommendations, and she was personable and knowledgeable during the interview. She will be an excellent addition to our Wildcat family, and (will) help us grow even more connected!”
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