Welcome to Olalla Elementary!
I’ve had the honor of serving Olalla Elementary as the principal since January 2016. Prior to joining Olalla, I was the Dean of Students at Cedar Heights right here in the South Kitsap School District. I have also been an educator in Federal Way, Kent, Tacoma, and Seattle Schools. As a child, I grew up in the Port Orchard area and have always had deeply embedded roots in this amazing community. Because of that, it has always been my goal to eventually return to South Kitsap and work in the district that I grew up in. Being the principal at Olalla Elementary and serving this community is truly a dream job!
Whether you are new to our school, or a returning family – you will feel a great sense of family and community at Olalla Elementary. Many of the teachers and staff who call Olalla home, are also parents themselves who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. It is because of this culture, that Olalla hosts many afternoon and evening events as an opportunity to bring people together and celebrate the amazing things happening in our school and community. Partly because of the school’s geographic distance from the rest of South Kitsap, coupled with relatively few other public places in Olalla, our school has become a community hub for many families to connect with one another. This culture creates an optimal environment for children to attend school, learn, and thrive.
Olalla is one of the few STEM schools in the South Kitsap School District! This means teachers use an integrated approach to teach Science (S), Technology (T), Engineering (E), and Mathematics (M). For the past two years, Olalla Elementary has introduced a new STEM curriculum called Project Lead the Way (PTLW)- and because of our students' great success with it, we have become a model school for the program and are expanding our use of it. It is though this curriculum that our students enjoy a 2:1 ratio of student to iPads – a tool we implement regularly in our STEM classrooms. We are always excited to show off our amazing discoveries and take great pride in our after school "STEM Squad", our annual STEM night, and our ongoing, hands-on, integrated science curriculum.
Ultimately, student achievement is at the center of what we do at Olalla Elementary. For the past three years Olalla Elementary has been recognized by OSPI as a School of Achievement. This means Olalla Elementary is performing at the top 10% of all schools in any given area/criteria – for Olalla, the award was a product of high progress in all academic areas. In 2015, there were only four elementary schools in all of the Olympic region to earn this distinction, and one of only 23 elementary schools in the entire state of Washington to earn this award for three consecutive years. With this prestigious distinction, it is yet another shining example of how Olalla Elementary stands among the best schools in Washington State.
Because of the awesome teaching & learning, dedicated students, and this incredible community – Olalla Elementary is one of the fastest growing schools in the South Kitsap School District. This past school year, our school grew by an unprecedented 15% and has since expanded our primary classrooms by one additional teacher. The growth reflects a school culture that is embedded with community and opportunity. It’s a great time to be an Olalla Owl, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy the school, the teachers, and the community for all it has to offer.
I pride myself on being visible and accessible. If for any reason you would like to speak with me, I am more than happy to make myself available. I look forward to another great year at Olalla Elementary!
Ted G. Macomber