| A Message from the Principal
Dear Cedar Way Families and Friends,
My name is Hawkins Cramer and this is my eleventh year here at Cedar Way. By way of an introduction, I’d like to share with you a little bit about my life and what matters most to me.
I spent half my childhood on a subsistence farm north of Boston, Massachusetts, and half on sailboats on Cape Cod. From an early age, I learned to respect and honor the forces, laws, and beauty of nature.
My father was a pioneer in alternative education, and started Sea Education Association (S.E.A), the first college accredited semester program that takes place on sailing ships. My father passed away years ago, but his legacy lives on in the thousands of hearts and minds that have been touched by this powerful program. His vision, perseverance, and leadership still provide me with inspiration in the work I do.
I attended Boston University and studied Philosophy and learned the importance of asking the right questions – Who am I? What do I stand for? and, What must I do? Attempting to answer these questions seems to help me live life more deliberately and fully.
Though the answers to these questions have changed somewhat over time, they have always had a consistent theme – I am an educator. I stand for high standards of academics and behavior, for equity, and for developing a more thoughtful public. What I must do is work toward that for which I stand. .
Since entering into the field of education, I’ve had the opportunity to teach kindergarten through eighth grade in the classroom, and students from ages 14 to 60 outside of the classroom walls with programs like Student Conservation Association, Outward Bound, and yes, Sea Education Association.
What I love most about teaching is seeing the glimmer in the eyes of students when the learning dawns in their minds. It’s a magical moment, a moment of glory and triumph. These are the moments that feed the soul.
For four years prior to becoming the principal here at CWE, I served College Place Elementary here in the Edmonds School District as the Dean of Students. My charge was school-wide behavior management, family resource advocacy, and sharing leadership in curriculum development and implementation.
I started down the path of becoming a principal during my last years at College Pace Elementary after revisiting that question of “What must I do?” once again. I experienced great success as Dean of Students, and knew I had an obligation to take it to the next level, the principalship.
Since taking on the role of Principal here at CWE, we’ve made some significant changes as a learning community that honor the core value of the purpose of public education - to prepare students to succeed in the work place by providing the skills and knowledge they need as well as instill in each student a strength of character and ethics that will prepare them to participate in our democracy as a thoughtful, contributing citizen. The ultimate purpose of public education is to form a better public, and this requires a strong, supportive and unified learning community. That’s what we’re after here at Cedar Way Elementary, and we’re well on our way.
Please join me at the regularly scheduled PTO meetings to hear the latest updates from me and learn more about the trail we are blazing toward higher standards, higher achievement, and strengthened character in our community.
I look forward to getting to know you all as we work toward this common goal together.
R. Hawkins Cramer