Beaver Lake Middle School principal takes helm at Liberty High School

June 5, 2012

By Christina Lords

Josh Almy doesn’t have to go far to find the inspiration of leadership in the classroom.

Josh Almy

With his wife, sister and mother all serving as teachers during their lifetimes, the newly appointed principal of Liberty High School said education is all around him.

The 39-year-old father of three said he’s looking forward to hitting the ground running, with plans to meet and learn from Liberty parents, students, teachers and staff members in the coming weeks.

“I’m ready to jump in with two feet and get to know people and figure out how I can support people,” he said. “A principal needs to be focused on staff, learn how to be supporting kids and be a good listener.”

Almy is no stranger to the Issaquah School District, having served as the principal at Beaver Lake Middle School for the past eight years.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said Almy will be a good fit for Liberty because of his ability to form partnerships from all sides of a learning community and his ability to focus on what really matters — his students.

“Colleagues know him especially for solid judgment; a steady, caring and inclusive style; excellent relationships with all, and absolute personal integrity,” Rasmussen wrote in an email message to Liberty parents. “We’re fortunate to have someone of his caliber to take on the challenges of high school leadership for us.”

Almy takes the helm at the school after Mike DeLetis, who has served as principal at Liberty for the past six years, will take on an assistant principal at a secondary school within the district to be able to spend more time with his family.

“Academically, we have increased expectations and brought attention to student learning, instruction and the academic decisions of students, staff and parents,” DeLetis said. “Culturally, there has always been great pride in Liberty High School, and I think we have extended that throughout the school.”

He said his most important impact to the school during his time there is the totality of the small interactions when administrators connect with students, staff and parents.

“I think that is what truly has a lasting impression,” DeLetis said. “I think that occurred for me personally and for the school staff as we connected outward with students, families and the larger Liberty community.”

Prior to his administrative role at Beaver Lake, Almy taught special education and math at a junior high school in the South Kitsap School District and spent a summer teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand.

After serving as assistant principal for three years in Walla Walla, he moved to the Issaquah School District as Beaver Lake Middle School principal in 2004.

A strong proponent of continuing improvement in his staff, students, and in himself, he has a master’s degree in educational administration and received his doctorate in education from the University of Washington on June 9.

Aside from taking the time to meet and hear from Liberty’s staff and parents, Almy said one of his foremost goals is to gain a greater understanding about the ongoing construction around the school and how it will affect the coming school years.

Phase 2 construction of the high school, a part of Issaquah’s recently approved $219 million bond, is projected to be complete by the end of 2013.

“We’re going to be trying to facilitate the construction right out of the gate,” he said. “That’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to take communication, it’s going to take patience and it’s going to take flexibility, but I think the outcome is something people are really excited about.”

Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239, or newcastle@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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