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MMS vice principal to lead Quil Ceda Elementary School
MARYSVILLE David McKellar has been appointed principal of Quil Ceda Elementary School, filling the shoes of Jeannie Tennis, who will take the helm of the new Grove Elementary School.
McKellar is now in his fourth year as vice principal of Marysville Middle School and taught at Arlingtons Post Middle School for four years before that. He will take over at Quil Ceda starting next fall.
He said he is invigorated as he prepares to take the reins at Quil Ceda, which also houses the independent cooperative program on its campus on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.
The level of excitement for me is just great, to work with all the different groups in the building, McKellar said, adding that it will be a breeze to take over after Tennis decade leading the school. I think that we keep building on the strengths of the school. Im just really excited and Im looking forward to the challenges.
A 1982 graduate of Mount Vernon High School, McKellar spent seven years as a policeman and air traffic controller in the United States Air Force before leaving the service in 1990, when he enrolled in Northwest College in Kirkland, earning a degree in pastoral ministries and biblical literature. He was a church pastor for a couple of years and then worked as a para-professional in the Burlington Edison School District. After post-baccalaureate work at Western Washington University he went to work at Post Middle School, then earned a masters degree and principals certificate at Seattle Pacific University. From there he was hired as a vice principal at MMS.
Its been tremendous. The staff was open and accepting all the way, McKellar recalled. He particularly relished working at the middle school under Pete Lundberg, who has lead the 1,000-student campus for 16 years and who was selected as middle-level Principal of the Year by his peers in the state.
Everybody just took me under their wing, McKellar said. Ive always worked well in the middle level. Its been a positive experience all four years.
Thats because McKellar treats all students with respect, according to Lundberg, who said his right-hand man has been a great role model for students and staff. It doesnt matter if a student is the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed achiever with lots of parental support and a good home or one who is struggling with the basics or might come from a less supportive household. They all get equal treatment from McKellar, Lundberg said.
Hes a learner and he models what you want education to be about, Lundberg said. He is also a people person and one of the most outstanding things about Dave at Marysville Middle School is how well he has connected to the students. Hes a respecter of all students and thats a real strength. He connects equally well with all students.
McKellar also works well with staff and took the lead on the committee that formulated the Safe and Civil Schools policy. Thats a big deal according to Lundberg because the new policy reduced suspensions by 64 percent last year, and this year statistics show an even greater reduction.
Im really proud of that and Im really proud of Dave for his role in that. He has made a huge difference in our school, Lundberg said. He can improve the climate of a school, David can improve the instruction in a school, he will be a really good principal.