When Issaquah Middle School principal Seth Adams takes to the pitch at the Oct. 25 Seattle Sounders FC – LA Galaxy match, he admits he’ll have a hard time keeping it together. “I’ve never been one to get star-struck,” he said, “but I’m seriously geeking out about this.”
The lifelong soccer fanatic is one of two standout Northwest principals who will compete in the PEMCO-Sounders FC “Principals on the Pitch” halftime show to celebrate National Principals Month. He and fellow contestant, principal Rick Harwood of Global Connections High School in SeaTac, will square off in a giant hamster ball obstacle course race to win cash for their schools. The top prize is $2,000, with the runner-up receiving $1,000. Both contestants also get a school visit from a Seattle Sounders FC player and 25 tickets to the game so their students can join them on the pitch to cheer them on.
After family, school, and community, soccer is Seth’s great love. He was just 7 years old when he attended his first Sounders match at the Kingdome. He’s coached soccer at Issaquah’s Liberty High School and now coaches his third-grade son’s soccer team. For the past 15 years, he’s played in the Northwest CO-ED Soccer League, currently for the Lounge Iguanas. And speaking of geeking out – he’s amassed a collection of soccer scarves from around the globe, including favorites that grace his office walls at Issaquah Middle School.
For Seth, his selection as a Principal on the Pitch contestant feels like a homecoming celebration. He returned to Issaquah this year after a two-year absence, when he worked as an associate principal for the Lake Washington School District. Before that, he’d spent 12 years teaching and serving as an assistant principal in Issaquah.
“This is my home,” he said. “I love working with this learning community – the students, teachers, parents, PTSA, and administrators. I’m thrilled to be the one who symbolically gets to represent them at Principals on the Pitch.”
And they’re thrilled with Seth. Co-workers offered kudos like these on his nomination forms:
He is at the door greeting 770 kids each morning and helping them get on the bus each afternoon. His door is always open and so is his heart for creating lifelong learners.
Mr. Adams is willing to do whatever it takes to build a true community at IMS. He is making everyone excited about change and challenging everyone to think big.
Mr. Adams stands out for his humility and his enthusiasm. He approaches every situation as a problem that can be solved and is the first one to suggest that he/we might not get it right the first time, but that we will persevere until the problem is solved.
This won’t be Seth’s first turn in a giant hamster ball. (They’re a big hit at middle school, he said.) But the best preparation, he said, comes every day. “I get to wake up every morning and have FUN with my students, whether it’s helping them work through a problem, joking around in the lunchroom, or joining a four-square game. What could be better training than that?”