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New year brings new principals to 3 schools

Debbie Davis is the new principal and John Myers is the new assistant principal at Post Falls Middle School.  
 (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Debbie Davis is the new principal and John Myers is the new assistant principal at Post Falls Middle School. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Taryn Brodwater Staff writer

Three schools in Kootenai County have new principals this fall.

At Athol Elementary, Kathy Thomas replaces Connie McGee as principal. Thomas was previously a teacher in the Post Falls School District and has prior experience as an administrator in another state.

Post Falls has new principals at Post Falls Middle School and at Seltice Elementary.

Debbie Davis was promoted to principal of Post Falls Middle School from her previous position as the school’s assistant principal.

Keane said Davis “proved her mettle by her performance” as assistant principal and that students and staff were excited to hear about Davis’ promotion. John Myers has been hired in Davis’ place as assistant principal.

Myers was most recently employed in the Liberty (Wash.) School District as a special education teacher. Previously, he served as a principal in the Lakeland School District.

Another veteran school administrator, Mike Uphus, has been hired as principal of Seltice Elementary. He comes to Post Falls from the East Valley School District, where he served as principal of Trent Elementary. He was previously principal at East Farms Elementary and also has experience as a counselor and teacher.

Schools get new carpet

There’s something new at Ponderosa Elementary this fall and people are taking notice.

Principal Kathy Baker was giving an incoming first-grader a tour of the school Monday and he turned to her and said: “Wow, this is a new building.”

The Post Falls school hasn’t gotten any younger. In fact, the building is 28 years old.

But like many area schools, Ponderosa got a bit of a makeover this summer. Much to Baker’s delight, the school’s old and worn-out carpet has been replaced.

Earlier this year, Baker enlisted the help of students to lobby the school district for new carpet. One girl wrote a letter about how she had tripped on the carpet.

“We certainly will enjoy our facility now,” Baker said this week, “and put all of our focus on learning.”

Part of Seltice Elementary was also recarpeted this summer and entrance areas at Mullan Trail Elementary and Post Falls Middle School were remodeled or freshened with new paint.

Superintendent Jerry Keane said “a zillion smaller projects” were also accomplished during summer break.

Post Falls adds emergency link

The Post Falls School District is adding a link on its Web site to help parents obtain information on school emergencies or closures.

If there’s an emergency event, such as lockdown, at one of the district’s schools, information will be posted on the district’s site at

Superintendent Jerry Keane said phone lines are often clogged with parents seeking information when there’s a crisis or emergency. Parents unable to get through via phone can go to the site for specific information. Keane said the information will be updated throughout the course of the emergency situation.

The site will also have information on weather-related closures. In most cases, decisions to close school because of bad weather are made by 5:30 a.m. Information on weather-related closures will also be broadcast on local TV and radio stations.

Charter Academy launches drive

The Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, a public charter school, is launching an effort to raise money for a new building.

Principal Nels Pitotti said the school is in desperate need of additional space. Enrollment has increased by 40 students from last year and the school’s growth plan calls for the addition of five classrooms.

To raise money for an additional building, the school is planning “Chartering Our Course,” an auction and gala to be held at the Coeur d’Alene Resort on Feb. 11. The event will include entertainment and dancing and replaces the school’s annual Buckaroo BBQ.

The school also has a direct donor campaign, Pitotti said. Some make monthly donations to the school.

Because the Charter Academy is a charter and accepts students from more than one geographical tax base, they have no ability to access funds through special levies or bonds.

For additional information on the Capital Improvement Fund Drive, visit

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