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Schools Welcome New Principals for 2019–20

New leaders selected to replace outgoing administrators

Several 4J schools and departments will have new leadership in 2019–20.

Sheldon High School Principal: Mike Ingman
Mike Ingman will be principal of Sheldon High School next year, replacing Bob Bolden who is moving to a district administration position at the 4J Education Center after 17 years at Sheldon. Mr. Ingman has extensive experience as a high school educator, including time as a high school social studies and alt ed teacher and football coach before becoming a school administrator. He is currently principal of Cottage Grove High School south of Eugene, and previously served as principal of Al Kennedy Alternative High School in Cottage Grove, and of Albany Options School to the north. He also has served as an assistant principal at South Albany High School and dean of students at Cottage Grove High School. While Mr. Ingman has worked in other districts, Eugene School District 4J is his home—where he grew up, attended school and raised his family. He is excited to return home to 4J. 

River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School Principal: Karen Ramirez Gutierrez
Karen Ramirez Gutierrez will be principal of River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School next year, replacing Joel Lavin who is moving to the high school level. Ms. Ramirez, a skilled and experienced bilingual/bicultural educator, is excited to return to Camino del Río and to dual immersion. Ms. Ramirez has served as assistant principal of Kennedy Middle School and as a summer school administrator in 4J. Before becoming a school administrator, she previously taught at Camino del Río and Buena Vista Spanish immersion elementary schools in Eugene, and as a bilingual teacher at a school near Salem where about 50% of students were English language learners. More recently she served as essential skills coordinator and bilingual coach at Camino del Río. She is committed to nurturing and developing bilingual, biliterate and bicultural instruction and supporting student and family success.

Alternative Education Administrator: Paula Nolan
Paula Nolan will be 4J’s new Alternative Education Administrator in 2019–20, overseeing the ECCO alternative high school program and other Eugene Education Options programs. Ms. Nolan is replacing Molly Gillett, who will head to Arizona this summer with her family to become the principal of a preK–8 school. Ms. Nolan has served as the principal and assistant principal of Redmond High School, where she oversaw Redmond’s alternative education and high school credit recovery programs. She has also taught at the high school and middle school level in Pendleton. Ms. Nolan is enthusiastic about joining the Eugene school community and furthering the development of 4J’s alternative education options. 

Spencer Butte Middle School Assistant Principal: Tracy Ross
Tracy Ross will be the assistant principal at Spencer Butte Middle School next school year, replacing George Gillett whose family is moving out-of-state. Ms. Ross has close to a quarter century of education experience. She has served as assistant principal at Sheldon High School since 2017 and previously at North Eugene High School for 3 years. Before becoming a school administrator, she taught music for many years and also served as an essential skills coordinator, high school instructional coach, and districtwide lead teacher on special assignment (TOSA) for music.

Sheldon High School Assistant Principal: Joel Lavin
Joel Lavin, currently principal of River Road/ El Camino del Río Elementary School, will move into the world of high school as the new assistant principal at Sheldon in 2019–20. Mr. Lavin has been the principal at the Spanish dual immersion elementary school for the past 5 years and previously was the principal of Awbrey Park Elementary School. Mr. Lavin also served as assistant principal at Roosevelt Middle School for three years. He is fluent in Spanish, has a background in science and education and brings a consistent equity lens to the table. 

Director of PreK–8 Education: Jeff Johnson
Jeff Johnson will be a Director of PreK–8 Education in 2019–20, serving alongside Brooke Wagner. Mr. Johnson has been an educator in 4J for more than 20 years and has a strong background in elementary and middle school education. He has been a teacher and administrator at both the elementary and secondary level, including serving as principal of Coburg Elementary School and then launching the Arts & Technology Academy and serving as its principal for 10 years. In recent years he has worked with multiple schools in a district-level role as the district’s Federal Programs Administrator. In all of these roles, Mr. Johnson has been committed to changing beliefs about students in historically underserved groups, increasing expectations about what students can achieve, developing systems with a focus on rigorous instruction, and increasing the instructional and leadership capacity of staff.

Fox Hollow Campus Administrator: Leila Schuck
Leila Schuck will take the helm of the Fox Hollow Campus in 2019–20, replacing Joyce Smith-Johnson who served as the campus administrator in an interim capacity this year. Ms. Schuck has served as a special education administrator since 2015 and has taken on many complex assignments for special education services in 4J over several years. She previously was an elementary and middle school behavior teacher, elementary learning center teacher, and a special education consultant working with K–12 day treatment programs, building outstanding experience and expertise in special education programs.

Student Services Administrator: Joyce Smith-Johnson
Joyce Smith-Johnson will support special education students, families and staff as a student services administrator next year, moving to the district office after stepping in for a year as the interim administrator of the Fox Hollow Campus. Ms. Smith-Johnson previously served as principal of Holt Elementary School for 5 years, and before that worked as a special education teacher and a staff development specialist in 4J. She brings to her new role an extensive knowledge and understanding of special education best practices along with her quarter-century of education experience, leadership skills, persistence and tenacity.

Director of Student Services: Kat Lange
Kat Lange, currently serving as one of the district’s student services administrators, will transition this summer to become 4J’s new Director of Student Services. In her current role, Ms. Lange has been responsible for supporting and guiding special education services at the high school level. She previously worked in Colorado as a special education director, college adjunct professor, principal, assistant principal, and special education teacher. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University. Ms. Lange will take over for Cheryl Linder, who is retiring after more than 40 years in special education in 4J, including involvement as a parent, volunteer, educational assistant, substitute teacher, special education teacher, administrator and director. 

Welcome to these education leaders and all others who are beginning or changing positions with 4J next year.

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