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School Leader Update

Dear West Woodland Families and Staff,

I am pleased to announce Dr. Kelly Vancil has been named as the acting principal of West Woodland Elementary School for the 2022-23 school year. Principal Vancil will serve in place of Principal Thaxton, who is leaving SPS to pursue another professional opportunity.

Principal Vancil was appointed to this role based on his deep connection with the West Woodland community, expertise as and instructional leader, and for his commitment to equity and access. He is dedicated to collaborative problem solving and committed to high quality learning experiences for West Woodland.

He has worked in education for more than 20 years. For the last seven years he has served as an assistant principal in Seattle Public Schools.

He began his teaching career in the Kent School District serving students in grades 3-6. He earned his master’s degree in curriculum: integrating the arts into curriculum, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Seattle University. Principal Vancil served six years as faculty and dean of the School of Education at Antioch University Seattle as a leader in the teacher preparation program.

SPS will begin the search for a permanent West Woodland principal in the Spring 2023. At that time, SPS will share next steps with the community.

I also want to thank Principal Thaxton for her leadership and service in Seattle Public Schools. Principal Vancil will begin serving as acting principal on Aug. 15, 2022. Please join me in welcoming him to his new role at West Woodland Elementary.


Dr. Brent Jones
Seattle Public Schools