Bray to lead Franklin Elementary as principal

Bray says she wants to continue school’s restorative justice program



Stephanie Bray, the new Franklin Elementary School principal, reapplied for the position after she served as interim principal. She says she wants to stay here as long as she can.

JAYCE CARRAL, Evergreen reporter

The current interim principal of Franklin Elementary School has been approved to become principal starting July 1.

Stephanie Bray, Franklin Elementary interim principal, said she had initially applied for the principal position in July 2018. Due to the complications of another candidate, Bray was given the position on an interim basis.

Bray said she had to reapply for the position and go through an eight-hour-long interview process.

The interview process consisted of six different parts, she said. Bray had to give a speech, partake in a formal interview process, and observe and evaluate a teacher. Bray also attend a student-led tour of the school. During the tour, students were allowed to ask Bray questions.

“My family and I are staying in Pullman,” Bray said. “I was excited to move onto the next step of my career, and make a larger impact for the students, staff and community of Pullman.”

Bray has taught within elementary schools for over ten years, she said.

“I want to stay here as long as I can,” she said. “I want longevity. I want to be that stable person for them, for the staff, students and the parents.”

Bray said her goals as principal include continuing the school’s restorative justice and discipline practice programs that started this year. The programs include the implementation of cozy corners, which are spaces within a classroom used by students to decompress.

Bray said she wants to emphasize addressing the cause of a student’s behavior, rather than the behavior itself. She said classroom intervention is a part of finding the cause of disruptive behavior.

“[Teachers] know that child the best and [they] are able to intervene first,” she said. “There’s still consequences, but I want to focus on how I can restore the relationship between the [student] and the teacher and the relationship between the [student] and other students.”

Bray said the Second Step curriculum used by the school focuses on the social and emotional learning of the students.

Bray said she wants to work with teachers on improving classroom instruction and grow the amount of community partners the school has.

Bray said she wants to employ job embedded professional development within the school. This occurs when teachers observe other teachers to learn from one another.

“Teachers growing themselves. It’s the growth mindset,” she said. “We need to model that atmosphere of continual learning.”

Becoming the school’s principal allows Bray to begin long term projects within the school and its community, she said.

Many of the projects Bray is considering implementing have stemmed from faculty summer sessions along with the monthly “Feedback Fridays” held in the school.

“It’s all about the kids, student growth, and ensure learning for all,” she said. “I’m excited to be here for years and years to come.”