McMicken Heights Elementary School
Highline Public Schools
In her eight years as principal of McMicken Heights Elementary School, Alexandria Haas has led with a deep commitment to equity and collective leadership. When she first took the helm, the school was underperforming in both reading and math, with a wide variance in instructional efficacy, inconsistent use of formative data for responsive lesson planning, and uneven collaborative practice throughout the school. To cohere and elevate instructional strategy at the school, Haas first set out to build a culture of professional feedback and collaboration by reframing practices like walkthroughs, sometimes seen as evaluative, to invite reflection and curiosity in teachers about how to better reach struggling students. This effort, along with a variety of initiatives targeting students with IEPs, have contributed to a marked reversal in the school’s underperformance. While at the beginning of her tenure McMicken Heights was identified as a Focus School, the school left improvement status three years ago and is currently performing at comparatively higher rates than schools with similar demographics. This success has made the school a model “labsite” for inclusive instruction practices and has earned recognition from the Center for Educational Effectiveness as a “Beat the Odds” school for African-American student achievement in math. Haas holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and a master’s degree in Teaching from The Evergreen State College, as well as a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from California State University, Los Angeles.