23 Sep

Welcome to the new school year and a growing community

By Abigail Cedano, Senior Director of Schools

As the 2016-2017 school year takes off we are thrilled to welcome our new students, families and faculty at Summit Sierra and Olympus. Being new to a community can be challenging and just like our new ninth grade students, I’m also new to the Summit community. Thank you for the warm welcome as I get settled in my new role!

I’m originally from Seattle, my lifelong passion for world-class educational opportunities for all students took me to New York 11 years ago where I was a teacher, assistant principal and founded a public charter school in Brooklyn. While I loved my time in New York, the Pacific Northwest was calling and I was thrilled when charters finally came to Washington! I have seen first hand the power charters can have to give parents options they need to make educational decisions that are best for their child. I was thrilled when offered the opportunity to join Summit and have the ability to support this movement in my home state.

I joined Summit Public Schools this year as the Senior Director of Schools. My role is to support our school leaders across the organization as they build beautiful houses of personalized learning. As I am sure you know, our Washington school leaders are phenomenal and it is a privilege to work with them.

I chose to come to Summit because it is an organization that believes every member of the community is an important learner who brings something valuable to the team. I chose to come to Summit because we believe that when every student is treated as a unique learner, students can not only develop strong academics but they can develop into thoughtful, contributing members of society and that will open the doors of possibility for their futures. I chose to come to Summit because I believe in educational innovation and am excited to be on the forefront of education reform.

As we start the school year, our students and faculty are already building strong communities of diverse learners. Our organization-wide faculty team and our schools have already had the opportunity to experience overnight camping trips. This gives us all an opportunity to expand our comfort zones and get to know each other deeply. During our camping trips we share stories about our lives, try out new activities and show off our talents in the culminating talent show!

At the start of the school year the students also reflect on their school experiences and hopes and dreams for the future. They think through how their high-school experience will support these dreams and they go on a college visit so they can see how all their hard work now can lead to amazing opportunities. Each of these experiences lay the foundation for developing vibrant school communities.

The Summit Sierra and Olympus communities are growing. Next year Atlas in White Center will join us as well. Each school has a story to tell and I’m excited to help our students, families and faculty accomplish amazing things, evolve and grow. Just like the Summit Olympus motto, we’re always rising, always together.

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