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Principal's Message

  • As the proud principal of Nautilus, I am excited to continue the traditions of Project Based Learning in a STEAM environment as we welcome our scholars back in for our first day of school on September 6th! Our team will also be reaching out soon with more information about welcoming our newest Kindergarten navigators to our community. In my reflection on the 2021-2022 school year, I am so grateful for our incredible scholars, families, and staff who persevered and supported each other during a year of many transitions. I cannot wait for another exciting year full of learning and community with our Navigator scholars, families, and staff!

    As a former performing arts teacher, I am thrilled to be part of the Nautilus community and a STEAM school where the arts is emphasized! I earned a bachelors in history from the University of Puget Sound, a master's in teaching from Seattle University, and a master's in education leadership and administration from Columbia University. My journey began in Seattle Public Schools where I served as a performing arts teacher and general classroom teacher across grades 1-5. Supporting leadership development is a passion of mine, and I also led professional trainings for school leadership teams in Seattle to ensure decision making is grounded in data, equity, and stakeholder involvement. Before my position as Nautilus principal, I served the Mark Twain community as assistant principal. I bring a relentless commitment to serving scholars, staff, and families to my work each day and truly love what I do. Together, we will pave the way for equitable outcomes in alignment with the FWPS aspirational goals and strategic plan.

    We have so much to celebrate as we prepare for another year of learning and growth. In June of 2022, we saw the percentage of scholars performing on or above grade level in IRLA rise from 28.6% in October to 57.4% in June. In addition, the percentage of scholars performing at or above grade level in Reading on the iReady diagnostic assessment has increased from 24% in the Fall to 50% in the Spring. Finally, the percentage of scholars performing at or above grade level in Math on the iReady diagnostic assessment has increased from 13% in the Fall to 45% in the Spring.

    We have a lot to celebrate! While continued growth is still needed, I am so proud of our scholars for working so hard each day to learn new skills. This school year, we will continue our tradition of PBL (Project-Based Learning) while working to strengthen our instructional practices in service of all scholars. Our entire district has a new focus on consistent master schedules across buildings, which will ensure that each and every scholar receives the same instructional minutes in each content area per day across every single classroom. As part of our efforts on master scheduling, there will be dedicated time in each grade level for core instruction (PBL, math lessons, IRLA, etc.) in addition to blocks of time in both ELA and Math for both intervention and extension opportunities. This will provide scholars with exactly what they need – rooted in team collaboration and data analysis – so that everyone is able to make gains.

    Online Registration & Enrollment Verification: Please visit to enroll your scholar in FWPS for the first time, re-enroll your returning scholar, and verify your existing scholar's information. Existing Federal Way Public School families who were enrolled the previous school year need to complete yearly verification of their information for all active FWPS scholars. If you need assistance, support is available! Visit for step-by-step instructions, frequently asked questions, and more!

    School Supplies: All school supplies will be provided to families at no cost. Please do not go out and purchase supplies - classroom teachers will have everything your child will need. 

    School Meals: Federal Way Public Schools offers nutritious meals every school day throughout the school year! For the 2022-2023 school year breakfast and lunch will be provided to FWPS scholars at no cost regardless of free and reduced eligibility status. Free and reduced meal applications ensure your child’s school qualifies for federal and state funding as determined by parent income levels and will continue to be collected.

    Right at School Childcare at Nautilus: Right at School will continue to provide before and after school care at Nautilus. Please visit for more information about registration. 

    I look forward to seeing you soon!

    In partnership,

    Emily Veling

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