Friday, April 7, 2017

Anna Birinyi will head Cascadia

Dear Cascadia community,
I am pleased to announce that Anna Birinyi has been selected as the new principal of Cascadia Elementary School. 

Anna Birinyi was one of multiple candidates interviewed by a hiring team that included Cascadia staff, parents and community members, school leaders, and central office staff, before being recommended for the consideration of the Superintendent and Chief of Schools. During her interview, the hiring committee recognized Ms. Birinyi for her extensive experience with the school, staff, and students; her critical understanding of students who are identified as “twice exceptional”; her student-centered voice; and her collaborative leadership.

Ms. Birinyi has most recently served as the Assistant Principal at Gatewood and Lafayette Elementary schools, where she engaged with teaching staff as a member of the Equity team working to eliminate opportunity gaps for students; worked closely with the school communities to address truancy; and participated in data-driven learning decisions to inform instructional plans.  Her prior experience also includes time as the House Administrator at Cascadia and as a first and fifth grade teacher at the APP (now HCC) at Lincoln program.  Throughout her teaching and administrator career, Ms. Birinyi has had a passion for teaching writing and science and incorporating the arts into the classroom, while striving to create an inclusive environment where all students feel welcomed.
Ms. Birinyi holds her Principal Certification from Seattle Pacific University, her Master of Arts in Teaching from the Teachers College, Columbia University, and her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University. She is also a Seattle Public Schools alum, having attended Coe and John Muir Elementary schools, Washington Middle School, and graduated as a proud Bulldog from Garfield High School.

Ms. Birinyi’s position will become effective on July 1, 2017; however, she will begin working with interim Cascadia principal Kathy Jolly and Decatur principal Rina Geoghagan this spring to ensure a smooth transition to the new school building. She is excited to work together with the community to build an emotionally supportive environment where each Cascadia student continues to grow and become independent thinkers.

Thank you to Kathy Jolly for her leadership as interim principal. Please join me in welcoming Principal Anna Birinyi to Cascadia Elementary.

Dr. Larry Nyland, Principal


xiebob said...
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xiebob said...

I'm very excited that a principal with special needs understanding is taking the helm at Cascadia! I hope some of her experience influences the approach at the Decatur HCC site as well. We have always been told that our kid on the spectrum cannot properly be served in HCC.

Anonymous said...

Was it someone at Cascadia who said your child couldn't be served there? I'm surprised as my child has a number of friends who are on the spectrum and receive services there. Does it depend on the level of service your child requires?

Anonymous said...

I know lots of parents with 2e kids, lots of parents with kids on the spectrum, and they are all served better at Cascadia than at their neighborhood schools.

NE perspective

xiebob said...

My ASD kid unfortunately has some significant behavioral issues and needs Access services, including quite a bit of aide time. I was told Cascadia doesn't provide this. I've been told this all of the last 3 years. They don't actually say NO, I'm sure because that would be illegal. They said something like, "we'll do our best, but we're way overloaded, but we don't have the resources to handle that." I'm glad they're successfully serving other ASD kids. I definitely think he might fit in well there, both academically and socially, with enough support.

Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry. I'm sure that is a hard message to hear. There is a 2e Facebook group or something like that, and maybe someone on this page can help you connect. I'm sure there are parents who can provide support and advice. They were really overloaded at Cascadia, but maybe now with two reasonably sized schools, you will find a home.

Methylgrace said...

@xiebob, Yes, they are overloaded in their current configuration, but with the split to Cascadia/Decatur making smaller schools, you may have new opportunities. Both principals, Ms. Biryini and Ms. Geoghagan are excellent, and well cognizant of supporting 2e kids. I'll contact you offline.