Published by: Polk County Itemizer-Observer
By: Emily Mentzer
Kim Seidel is thrilled to return to Monmouth to work as the principal at Monmouth Elementary School.
“I went to Western Oregon University,” she said. “My husband and I met here. We both said if we ever have the opportunity to live back in Monmouth, we’d do that. We brought our three kids with us.”
Seidel had wanted to be a teacher since she was 7. Now 36, she spent 14 years in Tillamook at a fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade school.
She taught fifth grade, became a math specialist and then dean of students — similar to assistant principal.
“I’m really excited to be in a school with younger grades,” Seidel noted. “You really miss that.”
When she first started the teacher preparation program at WOU, she wanted to be a kindergarten teacher.
“I loved every grade I taught,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d be in administration. I thought I’d be a teacher forever.”
Once she moved to full-time dean at East Elementary in Tillamook, she knew administration was a good fit for her.
“That’s where I knew I could really help effect change on a bigger scale,” Seidel said. “I could be a teacher-leader, and help develop the best practices for students.”
Seidel is impressed with the teachers and employees at MES, and is eager to get started working with them to make the school the best it can be.
“I’ve seen so many teachers in the building, all of them making sure their classrooms are ready for kids,” she said.
Seidel is willing to make changes, but she is in no hurry. She said she will see what’s already working well — and suspects there are many great things already happening at MES.
“As the year goes on, we’ll see where our strengths and weaknesses are, and fine tune what we need to for this year and the following year,” she said.
MES has a new school motto this year to go with its Dolphins mascot: SWIM.
“Safe students, Working hard, In control, Making good choices,” Seidel said. “We’ll be working with kids on those school rules and continuing with a really positive culture with our kids.”