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Whatcom leadership update

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

I want to share a leadership update with you. During a staff meeting today, we announced that the new administrative team at Whatcom will be principal Mischelle Darragh and assistant principal Breann Hulford.

Mischelle Darragh has been selected as the new principal of Whatcom Middle School. Ms. Darragh will join us from the Sedro-Woolley School District, where she has been principal of Samish Elementary, which is a K-6 school, and the district K-12 highly capable coordinator for the past six years. She earned her bachelor’s degree and administrative credential from Western Washington University and her master’s degree in counseling from City University.

Ms. Darragh has extensive experience in middle grade education. She has served as a middle school assistant principal in Arlington; a literacy coach in Burlington-Edison, North Thurston and Central Kitsap schools; and a junior high school counselor and reading/language arts teacher. Mischelle also brings expertise as an AVID program trainer, literacy coach and national board certification facilitator. She is a collaborative, reflective and relationship-driven leader who values learning from others, learning together, and making data-driven decisions based on what is best for each student.

Ms. Darragh and her family live in our community and her children attend or are alumni of Bellingham Public Schools. Mischelle’s spouse, Aaron Darragh, is principal of Roosevelt Elementary School. She looks forward to bringing her love of children, her strong understanding of powerful teaching and learning strategies and her commitment to teacher-centered collaboration to the Whatcom team.

Breann Hulford will also be joining the Whatcom Middle School team as assistant principal. Mrs. Hulford is a veteran mathematics teacher who taught in Marysville schools and at Fairhaven and Shuksan middle schools from 2010-2021, currently serving as a teacher on special assignment (TOSA) supporting multi-tiered systems of support and highly capable learners across Bellingham Public Schools.

Ms. Hulford holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University, a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University, and an administrative credential from Seattle Pacific University in partial completion of a doctorate in education. Mrs. Hulford is committed to serve all students through inclusive, welcoming schools, ensuring that each and every one of our students has access to high quality education.

I would like to thank the Whatcom and district staff who participated in the interview teams for the principal and assistant principal positions, as well as all WMS families and staff who took the time to share their hopes for the school’s new leadership team.

Some key themes that emerged from staff and family feedback were to find leaders who build strong relationships, are eager to learn about Whatcom and the community, who are committed to all children and their individual needs, and who are equity- and student-centered.  I feel confident that Ms. Darragh and Ms. Hulford will exemplify these characteristics.

Please join me in welcoming Mischelle Darragh and Breann Hulford to Whatcom Middle School.