Meet the Principal
My name is Kim Bilanko and I am so proud to be the principal at the our new school, Ella Baker Elementary. Opening a new school is the dream of a lifetime, and I am looking forward to creating this school together!
For those who have not met me, let me introduce myself. I was raised in Bellevue, WA and attended Western Washington University. I received my B.A. in Special Education with an Elementary Education endorsement. I completed my student teaching at Franklin Elementary (Lake Washington) and Woodridge Elementary School (Bellevue) in 2000. Since then, I have taught multiple grade levels including Special Education. I have also taught in multiple states including Washington, Texas and California. I also spent time as a Literacy Coach and mentored teachers in the classroom. I then received my M.A. in Education (Administration and Supervision) at California State University, Fresno. With my administrative credential, I then worked as a Vice Principal at both the elementary and secondary level. Most recently, I served as the principal for seven years at Ben Franklin Elementary and three years at Rosa Parks Elementary.
On a personal note, I love spending time with my husband, and children. I enjoy hiking, playing soccer, snowboarding, wake-boarding, camping and going on adventures with my family. I am also a huge Seahawk, Mariner and Husky fan! My passion is education and I truly love being a principal.
This past year, our team has developed a strong sense of purpose for Ella Baker Elementary School. Our goal is to empower our students as changemakers. We want students to know their potential, learn how to collaborate with others, and know that they can impact our world. In order for students to be future ready, we believe in developing children both academically and socially. Our students will learn and practice the Baker Eight Traits; empathy, gratitude, grit, optimism, integrity, self-control, curiosity and embracing diversity. These skills will be taught and developed through regular experiences including integrated service-learning projects. The integrated units of study will give students the opportunity to explore content areas in a hands-on and meaningful way, ask critical questions, learn from experts in the field, and understand how they can make an impact on our school, community and world. Our staff is dedicated to developing strong relationships with students and among students. We will ensure Ella Baker is an inclusive, equitable and engaging learning environment for all students.
Welcome to Ella Baker Elementary.
Associate Principal: Nicolle Mattingly
It is with great excitement and honor that I serve the Ella Baker Elementary community as Associate Principal.
Having grown up in Gig Harbor, WA and graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s in Biology, I began my teaching career in Reno, NV, teaching middle and high school science. After earning my Master’s in Teaching in Lake Tahoe, I returned home to Washington where I have been able to support staff and students PK-12 with curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the Teaching and Learning Departments at the district level. I then worked towards my administrator’s credential so that I could support students, families, and staff at the building level to work towards every student having an enriching and meaningful educational experience. Prior to coming to Ella Baker, I was the Associate Principal at Redmond Middle School.
I am looking forward to supporting and working with students, families, and staff from the start of their educational journey. I could not be more thrilled to do so at Ella Baker.
My experiences have shown me that to best support our students academically, socially, and emotionally, we must listen to one another and work together, something that I know is a core value of the Ella Baker community as well. Therefore, I look forward to meeting and getting to know each of your families in the upcoming year.
When I am not at school, you can find me spending as much time as possible enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband (David), our son (River), and boxer (Memphis).
I look forward to partnering with each of you,