Elyse Darwood Selected to Serve as LBHS Interim Principal for 2023-24 School Year

Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,

I am thrilled to inform you that Elyse Darwood has been selected to serve as the LBHS Interim Principal for the 2023-24 school year.

Elyse Darwood with her husband and young son and daughter.Commonly referred to by her colleagues as a “leader of leaders,” Elyse Darwood is ready to take the reins, acting as LBHS’s Interim Principal. For those who are not familiar with Elyse, she is a learner-centered, national board certified, veteran teacher of twelve years (eight years with the Pateros School District and four years with the Methow Valley School District), recent instructional coach, current LBHS humanities teacher, CLIMBS advisor, and member of the LBHS leadership team.

When asked about the decision to name Elyse as LBHS’s new principal, a Liberty Bell student captured it well by stating, “As a classroom teacher, Mrs. Darwood appreciates me for who I am. She sees me for who I’m becoming. She helps me to believe in what’s possible. I’ll miss having her as a teacher. But, I can’t think of a better person to lead our school.” When we asked the same question of staff, one member stated, “I can’t think of a person who cares more deeply about this community, our schools, the students we serve, and their families. She is a community builder, cultivating an inclusive environment of belonging, where every student feels valued, respected, dignified, and inspired to realize their full potential.”

As a leader who embodies the vision, beliefs, and values reflected in our schools and community, Elyse will not only serve as LBHS’s Interim Principal, she will be completing a Master’s in Educational Leadership/Certification program. When asked about her new position, Elyse said, “I am honored to serve as Interim Principal at Liberty Bell and to support the goals of students, staff and families in our beloved community.”

Elyse and her husband, the owner and operator of Darwood Outfitting, live in Carlton, just down from where his family homesteaded in 1889. They have two children, both of whom attend Methow Valley Elementary. When Elyse isn’t working, she enjoys time spent with family and friends, from one end of the Valley to the other, riding horses and supporting youth sports and activities.

Looking ahead to next year, we will reassess our situation and options available to us, ranging from an open search and selection process to a full appointment. Until then, you will not hear me refer to Elyse as the “interim” principal, rather the LBHS Principal. It’s a title that is well deserved on many levels.

Please join us as we congratulate LBHS Principal, Elyse Darwood!


Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District