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Cornell School Board; High school is in good hands for the future

By Ginna Young

“It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Those words from retiring Cornell middle/ high school principal Dave Elliott May 22, conveyed all the emotion from the last 20 years he’s spent with the school district. Elliott thanked the Cornell School Board for everything while he’s been with the district, before the time comes for him to exit.

However, Elliott couldn’t quite make the move to retirement wholeheartedly, saying he needed something to help him transition to full retirement. Elliott was contacted by a friend at Our Lady of Sorrows in Ladysmith, about serving as principal for a year, to stabilize things, after losing the previous principal to an illness in the family.

“I pledged to go up there and help a little bit,” said Elliott. “For me, not having a transitional piece is difficult.”

There’s no doubt whatsoever in Elliott’s mind, that Craig Braaten, who takes over for him at Cornell, will make the transition smoothly, as he’s been “in training” for some time for the position.

“I’m excited for him and he’s going to do awesome,” said Elliott As for superintendent Paul Schley, he’s working to wrap up everything the district has driven toward the whole school year, but is already thinking past summer school and building cleaning, toward next year, and the start of classes in the fall.

“Which will be here before you know it,” he said.

During the school board meeting, members reluctantly approved the resignation of middle/high school health/PE teacher, high school head girls basketball coach and assistant track coach Courtney Yanko; and assistant high school volleyball coach Deanna


I have grown as a teacher and a coach, and I am thankful for all of the students, parents and co-workers that I have come in contact with over the past three years, wrote Yanko.

Volleyball has been a huge part of Hall’s life for 19 years, but she and her husband feel they want to be available for their children, and the couple’s parents at this time. Hall started the Volley Tots Program, as well as a program for fourth through eighth graders to play in the Great Northwest Spring League.

I firmly believe that having these programs in place has been a big part of why we have a strong high school program, she wrote.

Members also approved Zach Person as the new middle/high school health/PE teacher. Person is well familiar with the school district, as he was part of the co-oped wrestling program on Gilman’s side in his school years.

“He’s looking forward to come on over,” said Schley.