August 4, 2023 - Thurston Elementary Leadership Announcement

Dear Thurston Staff and Community,

We are writing to share with you that Ms. Natasha York, Thurston Elementary School Principal, has accepted a new position as the Principal of the Westerman Preschool and Family Center in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. We are deeply thankful to Ms. York for her many years of service to the Thurston community and wish her the best as she steps into this next chapter of her career. 

We understand that this will be a time of change for the Thurston community, and we are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for students, staff and families. As such, Mrs. Samantha Cucu, current King Elementary Assistant Principal, will serve as the Interim Principal beginning on Monday, August 7, 2023. Mrs. Cucu has served the King community successfully as assistant principal and is very well-prepared to step into the interim principal role to support Thurston at this time. 

Mrs. Cucu shares, “I am excited to join the rich history and traditions of the Thurston community. I look forward to building open and trusting relationships as we work together to support the Thurston students, staff and families. Further, I am committed to working collaboratively to provide a successful transition and an outstanding 2023-24 school year.” As additional support, Assistant Principal Jen Daddow will continue to serve the Thurston Elementary community. 

In the Spring, on a more traditional principal search timeline, we look forward to conducting a robust principal search, engaging the Thurston community in the interview process and proceeding with the successful selection of a permanent principal. 

We look forward to opportunities for the Thurston community to wish Principal York well in her next chapter and to welcome Interim Principal CuCu, and we will share more information as we get closer to the start of school.  We are excited to focus on supporting our students, staff and families to ensure this 2023-2024 launch to the school year is a wonderful success for our Thurston school community. 


Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift
Superintendent of Schools

Jazz Parks
Assistant Superintendent, School Leadership

Matt Hilton
Executive Director, Elementary Education