• Michelle Zimnisky

    Frog Lodge Director


    Phone: 253.445.6001

    Hello and welcome to the Frog Lodge—the pre-K through second grade classrooms of Chief Leschi Elementary! It is our mission to provide your child with an excellent foundation in the early grades where they learn not only fundamental academic skills and habits, but where the love of learning is inspired. Partnering with families in this endeavor is essential as families are a child’s first and forever teacher.

    FrogLodge1 As the Frog Lodge Leader (PreK-2nd Grade Principal), I believe my journey here began as a child with my own forever teachers, my parents, “Andy” and Shirley Anderson, both from mid-west. My dad served a career in the Air Force, which took us from the Mojave Desert of California to Thailand, Germany, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and then back to the Mojave Desert, where he retired. Growing up, my mom told me to always remember that her mother was Sioux Indian, however, between the death of my great-grandmother during childbirth and my grandmother and her siblings subsequently being put up for adoption and going to boarding schools throughout childhood, we are left with only family stories of ties to Native American roots. My early world travels, open-minded and welcoming parents, and family stories, are probably why I found myself fascinated by various cultures, identities, and viewpoints and earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science with an Emphasis in Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture and going on to earn my first Master’s Degree in K-8 Education.

    This is my 19th year in education, having served as a kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, multi-age, and 5th grade teacher and earning National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Literacy and Language Arts in 2008. I have also worked as an intervention teacher, an instructional coach, district “coach of coaches”, and district-level literacy instruction and assessment specialist and professional developer. For a short time, I moonlighted as an instructor of literacy courses for teachers-in-training at Western Washington University, Bremerton. As a state instructional framework specialist for the new teacher evaluation system, I have trained teachers and administrators in multiple districts. Most recently, I earned a second master’s degree, this time in Educational Leadership, and worked for the Puyallup School District as an assistant principal before joining the Chief Leschi team.

    FrogLodge2 I am the mom and forever teacher of 13 year-old Aidan and 10 year-old Corinne, and wife of Tim Zimnisky—a fire captain in Burien. Tim and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary in September. My role as mom and wife are those that I hold in highest honor.

    Having started as Lodge Leader on November 1st, I am still getting to know the families, students, and community at Chief Leschi, and look forward to becoming a familiar face, welcoming smile, listening ear, partner and collaborator in our children’s growth here in the Frog Lodge!