Kathi Yanamura has resigned as the principal of Baranof Elementary. She’ll be moving to Montana to become principal of the Gateway Elementary School in Columbia Falls.
Yanamura has been at Baranof for only one year, and was considering remaining there until retirement. She says Sitka’s soon-to-be-former superintendent, Steve Bradshaw, planted the idea for the move.
“I was in Steve’s office one day and we were problem-solving something that was going on here and he said offhandedly, Well, if none of that works out, there’s a job open in Columbia Falls, Montana. Columbia Falls is where he’ll be superintendent beginning next year.”
Yanamura’s son, daughter, and grandchildren live in Yellowknife, in Canada’s Northwest Territories — a long trip from Sitka. She says the move makes sense for her in that respect. She interviewed in Columbia Falls the last week of April, and was hired on May 2nd.
“When I was selected for the position, I was kind of in shock. I really liked the teacher team and administrative team in Columbia Falls, but I’ve poured my heart and soul into Baranof School. I really love it here. And so I’m still kind of making sense of that emotionally. Just letting go a little bit. It’s been a great year and I’ve learned a lot from folks here, and hopefully I’ve had a good impact here.”
Yanamura came to Sitka from Juneau, where she worked for 13 years as an elementary school teacher, and 12 years as an administrator. She is the seventh vacancy in school administration in Sitka this year — including a new principal and assistant principal at Sitka High, a new assistant principal at Blatchley middle school, a new superintendent and assistant superintendent in Sitka, and a new superintendent at Mt. Edgecumbe High School.