Coe's new principal puts kids first

Product of Seattle school system has a consensus style

Even though Tate Loftin is new to Frantz H. Coe Elementary School, she is no stranger to Seattle Public Schools.
The district appointed Stacey "Tate" Loftin as the new principal for Coe, effective July 1, and she is very excited to be back in the district where she has so many memories.
"As long as I can remember, I've wanted to be in education," Loftin said. Loftin herself is a product of the Seattle Public Schools system, attending View Ridge Elementary, Eckstein Middle School and Roosevelt High School. Ever since college, Loftin has wanted to give back what she felt she received from the education system.
"I felt that I had a very good education, and I would like to carry that on and instill it in the next generation," she said.
When Loftin interviewed for the position with a group of Coe faculty members and parents, she was pleased to see the high level of parent involvement and community dedication to education at Coe.
"I was very excited to potentially be a part of the school," Loftin said of being interviewed.
Up until this year, David Elliott had been the principal at Coe for 10 years, and Loftin said she wants to carry on much of what he has done with the school.
"David Elliott is a very beloved member of the community and has done some great things with the school," Loftin said. "I want to continue to support the work he has done and build upon that."
Loftin wants to instill among students a love of learning. If students like what they are doing, she said, they will be excited while doing it. She also believes in the importance of a well-rounded education, and bringing in the "social and emotional pieces" in education.
Margaret Ferris was part of the six-member team of ­­­­­­parents and Coe staff members who helped screen principal applicants. She said Loftin showed a great strength of knowledge in the "nuts and bolts of how to run a classroom, as well as that extra something that you can only get from experience and caring about kids."
Ferris added that Loftin will bring "an absolute commitment to children" to Coe, which has been a priority at Coe. Loftin also will bring with her the ability to help every kid reach his or her potential, Ferris said. "She doesn't treat kids as cookie-cutters. She see a child and asks herself, what strengths do I have that I can offer this kid that he or she needs," she added.
As a way to get to know students, parents and community members better, Loftin will be holding, "Tuesday's with Tate," every Tuesday morning through Aug. 3. The informal, low-key open houses run from 9-11:30 a.m., and no appointment is necessary. Loftin said they are simply intended to be a time for parents to drop by with their students, current, future and former, and ask her any questions they might have, or simply introduce themselves.
Loftin wants to make sure parents and community members are informed and feel welcome to take part in the educational process.
"I feel very strongly that faculty and staff and parents need to be a part of the decision-making process here at school," she said.
Loftin has only officially been principal for one week, but she already has some ideas for the school that she wants to develop after meeting the leadership team and faculty.
"It is definitely important to have the faculty's take on things," Loftin said. "Until I've had the opportunity to meet with faculty members, I don't feel as though I can really state a direction."
Loftin recently took a sabbatical from teaching to head back to school herself. She earned her principal credentials in the Danforth Educational Leadership program at the University of Washington, as well as a master's degree in education leadership.
After one year in the Edmonds School District working as an educational intervention specialist, Loftin is happy to be back with Seattle Public Schools, and ready to take on her new role at Coe.
"I am thrilled to be back," she said.[[In-content Ad]]