Crystal Bacon. Photo by Don Nelson

Crystal Bacon. Photo by Don Nelson

By Don Nelson

Educator and author Crystal Bacon has been named executive director of the Methow Valley Community School.

Bacon replaces Keri Miles, who served as interim executive director during the past school year

Bacon began her new job in early June. She comes on board as the school, heading into its 16th year, prepares to move from its Winthrop site to the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp — the school’s original location.

Bacon, who currently teaches composition at the Community College of Philadelphia, has been a seasonal resident of the valley since 2009. She said she is looking forward to moving here permanently.

“It’s a perfect way to land in the community full-time,” Bacon said. “What a great way to be working with children.”

A major goal will be to increase the school’s enrollment, Bacon said. In the 2013-14 school year, enrollment was 20 students in grades 1-6, compared to 46 students in grade 1-8 during the 2012-13 school year.

Bacon also wants to build more partnerships in the community, including with the Methow Valley School District.

“The challenge is, how can we cooperatively serve the children of the valley,” she said. “It’s not a competition.”

Bacon said she is familiar with the community school’s operation and reputation because her partner has grandchildren who attend.

Bacon is the author of an award-winning collection of poetry, Elegy with a Glass of Whisky, and has 30 years of experience as a college-level English professor and academic dean. She holds a master’s degree in communications from the University of Northern Colorado, and a master of fine arts degree in poetry from the Warren Wilson MFA program in Ashland, North Carolina.

“I’m delighted and excited to be joining the community school family,” Bacon said in a letter to parents. “I look forward to helping the school continue to shape its legacy as a valuable asset to life in the Methow Valley.”

“I’m actively cultivating relationships in the community that will take the school into its next 15 years of service,” she added.

The Methow Valley Community School is an independent nonprofit that emphasizes experiential learning, teamwork and project-based curricula.

The school is looking for volunteers next week to help pack for the move to Twisp from the building on West Chewuch Road that it has leased for several years.

Volunteers can show up from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (June 16 – 20). For more information, call 996-4447.