Allen to remain principal at Lakeridge

By Reporter staff

Ralph Allen, principal at Lakeridge Elementary School will remain with the school through the 2008-09 school year, Superintendent Cyndy Simms announced recently. Allen, a retired administrator from the Bellevue School District, was hired on an temporary basis for the 2002-2003 school year when principal Maria Spring left after just one year at the school. Allen has agreed to stay on since then.

The district had advertised to find a permanent replacement for the school twice since then, but decided each time to retain Allen.

``My work with Ralph Allen during the 2003-04 school year and into this school year has shown me a man of great care for students, an instructional leader for staff, and a team builder with our two other elementary principals,'' the superintendent said. ``I appreciate Ralph's quiet leadership and determination very much.''

Mirroring trends seen across the United States, the Mercer Island School District has had a difficult time finding school administrators over the last few years. The district has had to replace the superintendent twice since 1999, hired an interim superintendent to fill in, and replace principals at two of the elementary schools. Officials are continuing to look for permanent replacements for the interim principal and associate principal hired for the high school last fall.

Under Washington state law, a retired school administrator can work on a contract basis for several years without affecting their benefits.

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