Meet the Principal

Welcome to Emily Dickinson Elementary School and Explorer Community School! Rebekah Westra

At Emily Dickinson and Explorer Community School for the 2023-2024 school year, we value strong relationships with our students, our families, and our community. We are passionate about providing the best possible educational experience for our students and will also continue to work on equitable, high-leverage teaching practices. My goal is to continue to partner with families and the community to provide leadership that facilitates an environment where students can thrive academically, socially, physically, and emotionally. 

This is my second year as your principal, and my thirteenth year in the Lake Washington School District. I began my career teaching high school English, Multi-language Learners, and Student Government at Wasatch High School in a district just outside of Park City, Utah. I started my career in administration there as an assistant principal until I moved to Washington. It was then that I became an associate principal at Redmond High School and subsequently, the principal at Lakeview Elementary. When we adopted our newborn twins, I took a step back and was a half time associate principal at Smith (six years) and McAuliffe (one year) Elementary Schools. I am now beginning my second year at Dickinson Explorer and am honored to serve this community and your students. 

On a personal note, I live in North Bend with my family. My husband Dave and I have been married for thirteen years. Dave works for a commercial real estate company in Seattle. My two “bonus” kids, Natalie and Tiffany, are 18 and 23. Natalie graduated from Mount Si High School last year. John and Betsy are eight years old and are in third grade. When I am not at school, I love traveling, staying up late reading, camping, taking ferry rides to the San Juans, jumping in the car for impromptu road trips, canoeing the river behind our house, having family game nights, and riding our Vespas around the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 

I am very much looking forward to a wonderful year of learning more about this incredible school community and getting to know you and your students better. 


Rebekah Westra (she/her)