Meeting Mrs. Bell

A Q&A with our future principal

Lily Furlong and Kenzie Knapp

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Sehome will be welcoming former staff member Sonia Bell back as our school’s new principal. She will be taking over for Michelle Kuss-Cybula starting next year. Bell worked at Sehome in a number of positions including geometry teacher and Assistant Principal for a year before transferring to Squalicum.

With such a large change in leadership at the school, we conducted a Q&A with the future principal to better hear her ideas and views on the new role.

Q: What made you want to take this position?

A: I want to be the principal of Sehome High School because of the incredible students and staff. I feel like Sehome has the people and now the facility to be the hub of our community. I cannot wait to see what we can become in the coming years.

Q: How did you get involved with Sehome in the first place?

A: I started teaching at Sehome in 2015. I completed my administrative internship with Mrs. Kuss-Cybula during the 2016-2017 school year. Last school year, I was one of the assistant principals at Sehome.

Q: Do you have any goals for improving or making changes to Sehome?

A: One of my goals for Sehome is that every person in the building is learning something new every day. We can all continue to learn and improve ourselves. I look forward to listening and learning from the students, staff, families, and community about what they want to see changed or improved. I want to see the core covenants continue to come to life. I want to build an inclusive school environment where every person feels connected and included. My goal is for every student to have at least one adult in the building they feel connected to.

Q: In brief, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

A: I grew up on a potato farm near Bozeman, Montana and went to college in Michigan. I got my bachelor’s degree in Special Education. I have worked in several different high schools and middle schools over my 16 years in education. My husband was in the Navy so I had the opportunity to move around often. I got my master in administration in 2017. Last year, I worked as the assistant principal at Sehome. This school year I am working as an assistant principal at Squalicum High School.

Q: When do you start at Sehome?

A: July 1st officially, but I will be transitioning over to Sehome part time over the next few weeks.

Q:What’s your relationship with Mrs. Kuss- Cybula?

A: Mrs. Kuss-Cybula was my principal, colleague, and will continue to be my mentor. She is an incredibly smart and thoughtful educator. I have learned so much from her working with her. She will be greatly missed for her role as a leader within the Bellingham Public School system. She has so deeply enriched our community.

Q: What do you hope to bring to the Sehome community?

A: I hope to bring positivity and joy to the Sehome community. School should be fun. There should be laughter and amazing memories made together as a Sehome community. I believe in the power of relationships and human connection. I look forward to working with teachers to examine instructional practices and to continue to look at ways that we can use our incredible building and facility to be innovative and push on what education looks like.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add or tell the students about?

A: I am thrilled and honored to be returning to Sehome as the next principal. Sehome has so much to offer our community and I cannot wait to see what we can become together! I will be on campus in the coming weeks and would love to meet with students, staff, and families about their hopes and dreams for our school.

We are excited to welcome Mrs. Bell and look forward to seeing what she’ll bring to the Sehome community.

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