Wolf Lodge Leader
Hello, Chief Leschi Family. My name is Curtis Patching and I am honored to be the Wolf Lodge Leader serving all 6th and 9th grade students, staff, and families. I joined the Chief Leschi staff in January of 2017 as the Associate Administrator. When I first arrived, I was working with the Frog and Salmon Lodges in the elementary building. Eventually, I moved to the secondary building and worked with the Wolf and Eagle Lodges for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year. I am excited to continue working with the Leschi community in the role of the Lodge Leader.
How did I get here? I grew up less than 100 miles away in the very small town of Winlock, WA (which may sound familiar to those who follow Leschi athletics). Winlock fueled my love for the outdoors, academics, athletics, and community. I decided to stay in Washington to further my education and to played football at the University of Puget Sound. While there, I struggled with what area of study most interested me. I loved taking advanced sciences in high school, so I started out getting a degree in Chemistry. When I decided that a decision I made when I was 15, to be a teacher, was an attainable goal, I thought about teaching facts the rest of my life. I couldn’t do it. Though I loved the eccentricities that could go with teaching Chemistry (i.e. blowing things up), I wanted a broader way to teach students to think. I decided that could best be accomplished as an English teacher. After receiving my degree in English, I immediately enrolled in Puget Sound’s teaching program. After time at Jason Lee Middle School, Lincoln High School, and some elementary schools in Tacoma, I focused on high school. I knew, in addition to teaching, I wanted to coach, so it seemed like a logical fit. I ended up student teaching at nearby Washington High School – I loved it.
The first classroom that was all mine was at the Green Hill School in Chehalis, WA. After a year there, I moved to Arizona to fulfill a goal of living somewhere other than Washington. I taught at a large Middle School with a very diverse population. While there I coached 3 different sports and taught 8th grade ELA. I used my passion for teaching students how to think, alongside the state standards, and was able to create relationships with students, families, and a community that I still follow today, despite being 4 states away. After some time in the same district, but at a K-8 school where I added another sport and Athletic Director to my athletics resume, I started on a second graduate degree – this one in Educational Leadership. I left the classroom after 8 years to become an elementary and intermediate school principal. Working for a small mining town’s school district taught me a lot about budgeting, both money and time. I also grew as an instructional leader and learned a lot from a very experienced staff of teachers.
After 10 years in Arizona, I decided it was time to move back to Washington to be closer to family. I was offered a job as the Dean of Students at a large middle school. That job included many hats – ELL coordinator, testing coordinator, data coordinator, after-school programs coordinator, and whatever else came up. It was an amazing experience. It was not an easy decision to leave that position in the middle of the school year, but Chief Leschi Schools was calling me.
I am excited about being at Chief Leschi and having the opportunity to assist in continuing the excellent work being done moving the school forward and preparing students for their post-Leschi life. I get to know more and more students everyday – and that is the best part of everyday working here. When I get to know them, I am better equipped to support them being successful here at Leschi and beyond. I am thrilled to help guide a staff that is clearly committed to the goal of educating the whole child and I will work hard supporting that commitment. I am honored to be a part of this very important work.