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Several Schools to Have New Principals in 2014–15

New principals selected to replace outgoing administrators

The Eugene School District is pleased to announce the selection of administrators to lead several schools and departments in the coming school year. (Additional appointments to fill open positions have been added to the original article as they were announced.)

Elementary Principals

Adams Elementary School: Kevin Gordon will be the new principal at Adams, replacing Cindy Sainz who is retiring. Kevin is new to Adams but not new to our district; he taught at Parker Elementary (now closed) for 10 years before starting his own real estate agency. He is currently a teacher in the Junction City School District.

Awbrey Park Elementary School: Michael Riplinger has been hired as Awbrey Park’s new principal, replacing Joel Lavin who is moving to River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School. Mike comes to us from Springfield Public Schools, where he began his education career 28 years ago as a special education teacher, and has more recently served as an administrator at Thurston Middle, Hamlin Middle, Briggs Middle, Yolanda Elementary and Thurston High School.

Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School: Eric Anderson has been selected to be the new principal at Charlemagne. Eric has a decade of experience in the South region and supporting the French immersion program, having served as assistant principal at South Eugene High School and then principal at Roosevelt Middle School. He is currently North Eugene High School’s principal.

River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School: Joel Lavin will be the new principal at River Road/El Camino del Río. Joel is currently the principal at Awbrey Park Elementary School. Before coming to Awbrey Park two years ago, he served as the assistant principal at Roosevelt Middle School. Bienvenido a El Camino del Río, Señor Lavin!

Willagillespie Elementary School: David Jacobson has been selected as Willagillespie’s new principal for 2014–15, replacing Stella Dadson who is retiring. David previously worked as an administrator in both the South Albany and Springfield school districts, and is currently serving as an assistant principal in Chile.

Middle School Principals & Assistant Principals

Madison Middle School: Teresa Martindale has been hired to be assistant principal at Madison, replacing Alicia Kruska who has accepted a principal position in another school district. Teresa taught at both elementary and secondary levels before becoming a school administrator. She comes to 4J from the South Lane School District, where she has most recently served as the principal of Dorena Elementary School.

Spencer Butte Middle School: Greg Borgerding will be the new principal at Spencer Butte, replacing BJ Blake who is moving to Churchill High School. Greg comes to us from Buckley, Washington, where he has been the principal at Glacier Middle School for the past three years. Greg’s background includes teaching English language arts, serving as a high school assistant principal, and overseeing CTE (career technical education) and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) programs as a district director.

High School Principals & Assistant Principals

Churchill High School: BJ Blake has been appointed principal at CHS beginning with the 2014–15 school year. This is a return to Churchill for BJ, who served as the school’s assistant principal from 2000 to 2003. Since then she was principal at Meadowlark/Buena Vista Elementary School for 6 years, and most recently at Spencer Butte Middle School for the past 5 years. Before coming to 4J, BJ taught at Bohemia Elementary in South Lane School District for 11 years.

North Eugene High School: Casandra Kamens has been selected to be North Eugene High School’s new principal, replacing Eric Anderson who is moving to Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School. Casandra has a long history at North—she has been a part of the school since 1998. Before being appointed to her current role as an instructional program administrator, Casandra served in the capacity of small schools coordinator and world languages teacher.

North Eugene High School: Tracy Ross and Scott Mayers have been selected as new assistant principals at North Eugene, replacing Casandra Kamens, who has been named North Eugene’s principal, and Grant Conway, who departed at the end of the school year. Tracy has been in education for nearly 20 years. Her career has included many years teaching music as well as experience as an essential skills coordinator and music TOSA (teacher on special assignment) in 4J and as a high school instructional coach in Lebanon School District. Scott has instructional background in multiple subject areas, experience with discipline as a dean of students, and an ability to work with a population of students who have typically struggled in school. In addition, Scott brings strengths in the areas of technology and equity.

South Eugene High School: Stephanie Cannon will be the interim principal in 2014–15. Former South Eugene principal Randy Bernstein has been appointed 4J’s director of secondary education. Stephanie has been an assistant principal at South Eugene since 2004. She will be stepping into the principal role this year as the district conducts the search for the next permanent principal at South. Before coming to Eugene, Stephanie taught elementary school for 12 years and worked as an administrator in Lynnwood and Bothell, Washington.

South Eugene High School: Tia Holliday-Odegard will serve as interim assistant principal while assistant principal Stephanie Cannon serves as interim principal. Tia is an experienced instructional leader at the secondary level. She began her work in 4J as a science teacher and small schools teacher leader at North Eugene High School. She has also served as the essential skills coordinator and summer bridge coordinator for North Eugene and as regional secondary essential skills coordinator for the district.

Department Directors

Director of Human Resources: Sarah Brown has been hired as 4J’s new director of human resources, replacing Celia Feres-Johnson who departed earlier this year. Sarah has a depth of experience in education and human resources. She began her career in education as a teacher in Florida and has since served as a building principal in an international school in Venezuela, a program director in Florida, as well as 7 years in human resources in California. She has been responsible for many aspects of human resources including recruitment/placements/retention, evaluations, employee relations, evaluation, benefits, professional development, workers’ compensation and negotiations. Sarah believes that students are the focus of all district work and that trust, transparency and honest communication are key to success.

Director of Secondary Education: Randy Bernstein has been appointed director of secondary education to replace Laurie Moses, who is retiring. Randy has served as a principal in Eugene since 2001, at Spencer Butte Middle School and South Eugene High School. Randy also brings experiences from outside 4J, having previously worked an administrator in South Lane School District and in Tennessee School District in Lebanon, Oregon. Rounding out his experience, Randy began his education career by teaching in middle school for 9 years. Randy has a strong understanding of our school district and has served in many capacities at the district level. His passion and commitment to our students is clear. Randy is excited about working to serve all students and staff in this new role.

Interim Director of Technology: Kim Ketterer, associate director of technology, was appointed to serve as the interim director until a permanent director was selected. Kim has been serving our district and students since 1987. She began as a teacher at Corridor Elementary and continued serving the district as the instructional technology administrator. Kim’s passion and expertise supported 4J’s continued growth and forward motion in technology services until a permanent director was appointed to replace Peter Tromba, who departed to take on a position with the Oregon Education Investment Board. Kim served as interim director from June 2014 until a new director was hired and began his position in February 2015.

Director of Technology Services: Steve Menachemson will join the district as director of technology in February 2015. Steve brings a wealth of experience in the IT sector to help our district continue to grow and move forward. Steve comes to us from Symantec, where he has worked since 2008, for the last three years as a senior manager in global support delivery. Prior to Symantec, Steve served in southern California as a vice president with an IT consulting group for eight years, and as a project manager and senior consultant for an IT sales and support firm. He began his career in Cape Town, South Africa, as a project manager and senior support engineer before being advanced to a regional manager for the same company in Windhoek, Namibia. Steve thrives in a challenging, fast-paced organization working to achieve goals of excellence. He is eager to bring his enthusiasm and talent to 4J.

Chief of Staff: Charis McGaughy will be taking on this key position, replacing current chief of staff Barb Bellamy, who is retiring. Charis has had a life-long commitment to public education and eliminating the achievement gap. She holds a master’s degree in public affairs and a doctorate in educational policy, leadership and organizations. Charis started her career as a classroom teacher and has worked at the state level in both Texas and Tennessee. She has spent the last 7 years as a director at the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC). Her vast background in practice, policy, and research as well as strong oral and written communication skills will serve our district very well.  Charis is passionate about supporting our mission to provide each student with an excellent education.

updated February 2015

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