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Michelle Zimnisky, Assistant Principal

Hello Northwood Community!

It is an honor to introduce myself as the new principal at Northwood Elementary. In my short time at Northwood as assistant principal in the summer and fall of 2020 before being reassigned to lead CL 2.0, I quickly felt connected to the staff and community. While serving as CL 2.0 principal, I watched the Northwood community continue to thrive in spite of the many challenges the year has brought. I have no doubt this is a reflection of the caring and professional staff and supportive community.

I look forward to the opportunity to (re)meet you. In the meantime, let me share a little about me. Prior to going into education, I worked my way through college: working in the business sector by day while going to night school with the dream of becoming an educator. This year marks my 24th year in education. Prior to going into administration, I taught kindergarten, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades. I also served as an intervention teacher, instructional coach, and district-level literacy specialist and coach-of-coaches. I obtained my administrative certificate after 17 years of teaching and started my first administrative job as Assistant Principal at Hunt and Pope Elementary Schools here in Puyallup. I was then recruited to Chief Leschi Schools, where I served as Principal, Lead Principal, and Director of Social Emotional Learning. I returned to Puyallup last year, and …here we are.

On a personal note, beyond being Mom to two teenagers, my husband, a fire captain in Burien, and I have been married for 27 years; we have lived in Western Washington for the entirety of our marriage and recently moved from the peninsula so we could both be closer to the communities we serve. In my free time I love exploring new places; reading; music; spending time with family, friends, and my three pets; and gardening.

I believe that how families experience and perceive the school is an important barometer check in how we are doing at truly supporting students and as a hub of the community. More than anything, I want your children to absolutely love learning at Northwood and I want you to feel a genuine sense of connection when partnering with school staff. Fortunately, there is a strong precedence of this already and my goal is to not only continue that, but to further build that connection. I value your partnership and commit to not just communicating information out, but to listening. I will do my best to serve the Northwood community as a leader, learner, and collaborator. I foresee serving at Northwood as the highlight of my career and am truly humbled and grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to our partnership and to getting to know you and your children.


In service and support,

Michelle Zimnisky