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Carter Lake Elementary welcomes new principal

Q & A with Marianne Rupprecht

New principal, Marianne Rupprecht, brings a fresh perspective and a breadth of experience to Carter Lake Elementary, Joint Base Lewis McChord’s state-of-the-art elementary school. Photo credit: Carter Lake Elementary School

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In September, Carter Lake Elementary School, one of the newest additions to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) school system, welcomed a new principal. Marianne Rupprecht brings both a fresh perspective and a breadth of experience to Carter Lake.

What kind of response have you had from students/parents/teachers about Carter Lake?

Carter Lake opened its new building in 2013. Students, parents and teachers enjoy teaching and learning in a state-of-the-art educational facility.

Since I started, everyone has been warm and welcoming. Families and teachers alike work diligently to provide the best school experience for our students. Each month, I have a sharing and listening session called "Coffee with the Principal" so that I can answer questions and learn more about what is important to our community.

What is Carter Lake's enrollment this year? What grade levels do you serve (K-4, K-5, K-6 ... )? Does it only serve children who live on base?

Carter Lake Elementary School currently serves 460 students. It serves only kindergarten through fifth grade students who live on JBLM.

What are some of the unique benefits and challenges of serving a military community?

Most recently I served as Assistant Principal at Evergreen Elementary here on base. I immediately felt connected to the military community and was thrilled when appointed Principal at Carter Lake to continue serving the military community.

Military students face challenges of moving, making new friends and leaving them and the dynamics of an active-duty parent being away for training or deployed. We support students through these times. Many of our staff members are military spouses, and we have special programs unique to schools on base. We are proud to provide rigorous grade-level standard instruction and also have expertise to support students needing extra help.

What else would you like the readers to know about the JBLM school system and on-base education?

After nearly 10 years at Clover Park School District, I know that our focus on instruction and providing a high-quality education is critical. We are constantly refining our practice and figuring out how to get better each day.

Can you tell me about your background in education?

I started teaching in Yelm nearly 20 years ago. I was involved in leadership early, coaching new teachers and supporting curriculum development and assessment districtwide. I worked many years supporting students to become better readers and brought that experience to supervise literacy for Clover Park School District. After seven years in a district-level position, I knew that I belonged in a school again.

Can you give me some biographical information about yourself?

My roots are from Canada and Washington. I moved a great deal as a child, so in this way I can relate to the students on base. I know that starting over at new schools can be challenging but that meeting new friends can be very rewarding. My own children changed schools to attend Carter Lake this year.

What is your philosophy when it comes to being a leader?

I believe that my role as a leader hinges on my ability to support staff, students and their families. It's simple: I lead so that these students succeed while at Carter Lake Elementary.

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