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Coupeville gets new principal

Coupeville Elementary School Principal Glenda Merwine will become Student Learning Director next year, a decision which left her old job open.

That vacancy was filled when Fran McCarthy was named the new principal of Coupeville Elementary School. McCarthy is currently assistant principal at Quil Ceda Elementary School in Marysville. She held that position for five years.

Superintendent Bill Myhr said that many employees and citizens felt McCarthy’s core principles would make her a good fit at the elementary school.

“For many people, she seemed to be a good replacement for a popular principal in Glenda Merwine,” Myhr said Thursday morning.

McCarthy has worked in Marysville since 2000. During that time she helped develop curriculum, dealt with student discipline issues and supervised staff. She also served as a summer school principal in 2003.

Myhr said people were impressed with her values toward learning communities, collaboration with staff and commitment to students. She wants to come to Coupeville because she was impressed with the ownership the community has in its schools. She hopes it will be her last move.

“I’m looking for some place to spend my life,” McCarthy said during an interview in front of a local audience.

Residents had the chance to question McCarthy and two other finalists Wednesday evening. Staff and administrators also talked with each candidate in interviews prior to the public meeting. Questions posed to candidates ranged from how they address ineffective teachers to what is their favorite movie. McCarthy’s favorite is “My Cousin Vinny.”

Other candidates interviewed were Michael Kinzler, an assistant principal at an elementary school in Elma, Wash.; and Michael McGarr, principal of an elementary school in Nevada City, Calif.

McCarthy will move to the island next summer. That will allow her daughter to graduate from high school next year in familiar surroundings.

With the hiring of McCarthy, the Coupeville School District almost has all the openings in its administration filled. Sheldon Rosenkrance was recently named high school principal and Kristi Thurston was named special education director.

However, the school district is again searching for a special education director. Thurston backed out of the Coupeville job to take a position with the Department of Defense teaching special education students in Japan.

School officials are looking at prior applications in hopes of quickly filling the vacant special education position. Whoever is hired will replace Kathy Harada, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

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