Principal's Message

Hello, Choice Academy and NKOA/PAL Families and Students,

I am so honored to be the Principal of these two schools.  I consider being an educator one of the most important professions in the world.  I am hard-pressed to find another job where you get to be responsible for a child's academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs for seven or more hours of their day.  A medical professional can’t even make this claim.  At Choice Academy and NKOA/PAL, we are passionate and serious about our responsibilities.  We constantly work on ways to help our students succeed and prepare for their next steps. 

With building a strong climate and culture and relationships with students at the forefront of our work, we strive to make Choice Academy and NKOA/PAL schools that put the utmost importance on the tenets of The Circle of Courage.  It is the foundation of our work and keeps us zeroed in on making our school a place where our students feel welcomed daily.  Our climate and culture are designed to be friendly to students, filled with motivational displays, student-friendly furniture, and different spaces to gather, and is in the middle of one of the most scenic locations in Puget Sound.  Aside from the physical structure and space, our staff prides itself on connecting with all students and building positive relationships. Here is a quote describing our work from Dave Anderson from a book by Phil Boyte.  

“Culture is never finished. Building or strengthening a culture is not something you ever cross off a to-do list and declare finished.  In fact, think of culture as you would a garden; a garden requires constant attention, and if you ignore it for long, the weeds, bugs, and disease will hijack the garden.”  

We want our students to be competent by having opportunities to engage in various academic areas so they may be well-prepared for life after high school.  Our students are developing plans for the workforce, military, and college.  No matter their goals, students can obtain the necessary tools and meet the challenges of graduating and being dependent on their success.

We encourage our students to evolve their independence by teaching them to grow internal discipline.  We help them form respectful ways to express their thoughts, take appropriate actions, and build a plan that will prepare them to make their way in the world.

We believe all students should have the opportunity to be involved in student leadership.  Leadership is designed to help students give back to their school and community.  We want our students to become generous human beings.  Of course, individual students are at different stages of development in dealing with generosity.  We take each student from where they are developmentally and help them build the necessary skills to be generous citizens.

We are honored to have the opportunity to lead your students.  We will provide them with a quality education and school environment, take care of and guide them on their educational journey.   We are absolutely committed to their academic, behavioral, and social-emotional safety and success.

Penny Therrien
Choice Academy and NKOA/PAL