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    Aki Kurose Leadership Announcement
    Posted on 08/06/2019

    Aki Kurose Leadership Announcement

    Message from Dr. Mia Williams

    Dear Aki Kurose Community:

    Eleven years ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve our community as the principal of Aki Kurose Middle School. Since then—every day—it has been an honor and a privilege to be your principal! We have amazing students—and a terrific staff who love, challenge, and care for them.

    It is with powerful mixed emotions that I am announcing that I have accepted a new job within Seattle Public Schools as the Executive Director of African American Male Achievement. I said yes to this opportunity because it will give me a chance to improve opportunities for our black male students across our entire city in new and powerful ways. Being the principal of Aki Kurose will always be my “dream job” and I will continue to be involved as a parent and community member.

    With school leadership comes the opportunity to mentor the leadership in others. It is so exciting to see someone who we have mentored, Mr. Lowery, stepping into the role of the new Aki Kurose principal—he is ready to continue to work with our fantastic staff and families to take our school and community to the next level of greatness! I am confident the Peace Cranes are in great hands!

    In partnership,
    Dr. Mia Williams

    Message from Principal Caine Lowery

    Dear Aki Kurose Community,

    I hope this letter finds you enjoying the rejuvenating days of summer and taking time to spend with the people you love. As Dr. Williams has shared, she has accepted the position of Executive Director of African American Male Achievement for Seattle Public Schools. During her 11-year tenure, Dr. Williams championed our work to strengthen our students’ academic, social, and emotional skills. Thank you, Dr. Mia Williams, for pouring everything you have into our school community and making it a place where students, staff, and families feel seen, heard, and supported each and every day. The Aki Kurose community will always hold Dr. Williams close and she will always be a peace crane.

    The staff at Aki Kurose have helped shape me as an educator and pushed me to be a better teacher. You are thoughtful, purpose-driven, and extremely hard working. You are tireless advocates for our kids, constantly thinking about how best to meet the needs of all of our students. I feel fortunate to work with such a strong team, and I am humbled and excited for the opportunity to support the amazing work each of you do in service of our students, as the proud principal of Aki Kurose Middle School.

    This year marks my fourteenth year in education. I started my career teaching high school in Portland, Oregon and soon after moved to Atlanta, Georgia to teach elementary school for two years. I returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2008 and Dr. Williams hired me to teach Literacy and Social Studies at Aki Kurose. I’ve served as a teacher and house administrator at Aki, a teacher and dean at Cleveland High School, and, most recently, I had the opportunity to return to Aki as an assistant principal. The Aki Kurose community has significantly impacted my life, my vision for myself as an educator, and my beliefs about students and our obligation to them. During my time at Aki, I came to not only believe, but know, that our students’ potential is limitless and that it is our fundamental responsibility to create a culture and system that support their potential. I have seen Aki students grow up and realize their goals in college and in careers, and I know the role and significance of the members of our Aki community had in their stories.

    The 2019-20 school year brings a new set of challenges that we will take on together and it brings hope for what we will accomplish together. We have the opportunity to learn alongside one another and each person will bring valuable insight and knowledge that will contribute to our collective growth as a school and community. I am eager to continue to build on the significant work that we have cultivated over the course of many years. I commit to lead in a way that personifies my core values of integrity and joy because I believe that we do our best work for students when we are honest with one another about our successes and areas of growth and feel positive about our relationships with one another. I see the hard work of our staff and families and know that the work extends beyond what I can see. I reflect often on the deep commitment that the members of this school community hold for the daily success of each and every student and could not be prouder to work alongside the educators at Aki Kurose.

    As I wrote to you when I first returned to Aki in 2017, I have always been driven by the idea that education has the power to shape the life trajectory of our students, and that it can be the single most important tool in the fight for a just and equitable society. I still full heartedly believe this to be true, and my goal is to ensure that our students have what they need to realize their dreams.

    In closing, I would love the opportunity to meet individually with each of you to hear your thoughts and hopes for the upcoming school year. If you are interested in sitting down together, please send me an e-mail with your availability. I look forward to working and learning with you all.

    Caine Lowery
    Principal, Aki Kurose Middle Schoool