Osborn resigns as principal of Gordon Elementary School

Rachel Osborn visits with Richard Gordon in October 2013.  - Kipp Robertson/ Herald
Rachel Osborn visits with Richard Gordon in October 2013.
— image credit: Kipp Robertson/ Herald

KINGSTON — Rachel Osborn resigned April 14 as principal of Gordon Elementary School so she can focus on completing her doctoral dissertation.

In a letter to Gordon parents and community members, Osborn wrote that her last day will be June 30. District communications coordinator Jenn Markaryan said the district “will be working towards a replacement as soon as possible.”

Osborn joined Gordon Elementary as interim principal in fall 2012, and her appointment was later made permanent.

In her letter, she wrote that she is “truly honored … to have had the opportunity to implement changes that have positively impacted students and staff.” Among the changes: A schoolwide progress monitoring plan; the addition of literature circles, math games, problem solving, skill work, and monitoring of student progress at the Academic Lab; twice monthly citizenship assemblies that “celebrate and reinforce student leadership and positive behavior”; a new system of teacher evaluation; and a “transparent enrollment process” for the Options program.

On April 16, the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction announced that the Options program at Gordon is the recipient of a Washington Achievement Award for reading growth. Options is one of 413 schools that will receive awards for Overall Excellence, High Progress, Reading Growth, Math Growth, Extended Graduation Rate, and English Language Acquisition.

Gordon Elementary School has 480 students and 19 classroom teachers, an average student-teacher ratio of 25 to 1. All told, there are 47 staff members, 25 of which are certificated teachers and counselors.

“I love this elementary school,” Osborn told the Herald.

“I’m not leaving because there’s a tough part [of the job]. I love the kids and the staff at the school. But I’ve been doing my principalship and doctoral work concurrently, and it’s really important for me to do a top-level job on my dissertation. There’s a sad part in leaving, but next spring at this time when I’m Dr. Rachel Osborn, a lot of doors will open for me.”

Osborn has been an educator for approximately 11 years and in 2012-13 earned $92,962, according to the School Employee Salaries database managed by the Tacoma News Tribune.

Osborn was previously the Title I and Learning Assistance Program facilitator for the Renton School District. Before that, she taught in Seattle. She graduated summa cum laude from Central Washington University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in special education and elementary education. She earned a master’s in English as a Second Language and bilingual education from Heritage University, and studied Spanish at Centro Mexicano Internacional in Morelia, Mexico. She received her principal’s credential at City University.

According to her LinkedIn page, she began work on her doctorate in education, with a focus on school improvement, in 2011 at the University of West Georgia.

Through the district communications office, Assistant Superintendent Chris Willits said Osborn has been with the district for two years “and we appreciate the hard work and dedication that she gave to Gordon Elementary and the community.”


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