New middle school principal already shaping campus

New Langley Middle School principal Suzi Mach in her office. Mach officially started her position July 1.

The South Whidbey School District has hired Suzi Mach to be Langley Middle School’s next principal.

Mach, a 1989 graduate of Oak Harbor High School and current Langley resident, officially started July 1. She comes to the position with six years of administrative experience in the Bremerton School District, most recently holding the position of vice principal of West Hills STEM Academy. The academy is the first dedicated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) elementary school in Washington.

“She’s a great addition to our administrative staff and we’re excited to move forward,” Superintendent Jo Moccia said. “She’s got tremendous experience in math and science.”

Mach’s presence alone at the school has jumpstarted plans of redesigning and renovating the middle school.

An “internal facelift” as Mach called it will include two 40-to-50-inch Apple televisions at the main entrance — one will display a slideshow of past graduating classes while the other will feature current news and messages — along with new carpets, flooring, doors and internal painting.

It hasn’t been solidified whether the framed pictures of the past graduating classes will be moved to another location, or if they’ll be kept hanging along the walls of the hallway, but Mach says the goal is to dialogue with the community and find a place where they can be displayed and easily viewable by the public.

“We want to keep the history alive, but help the kids move forward and focus on the day in front of them,” Mach said. “I want a building that’s alive.”

Mach said some options include having the frames housed at the high school or at a local museum.

Mach said she also hopes to bring some of the strengths of STEM academies to South Whidbey. Particularly, instructional methods that integrate technology and engineering into science and mathematics instruction, she said.

“STEM brings a high rigor experience of learning through sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Mach said.

Mach holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies and special education from Pacific Lutheran University and a master’s degree in educational administration from City University of Seattle.

Moccia said Mach has “absolutely the right experience for our district.”