Scott Sullivan will serve as interim principal at Estacada Middle School through June after Kristin Turnquist submitted her resignation last week. Turnquist's last day in the district was Tuesday, March 7, and her resignation is effective Monday, March 20.
Turnquist did not respond to The News' request for comment, and Superintendent Marla Stephenson said she was unable to discuss why she left. Stephenson is confident Sullivan will help ease the transition at the school, noting that "he cares deeply about Estacada School District."
"He was the only person available who could continue the great work at the middle school," she said.
For the last two years, Sullivan has served as the district's director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Prior to that, he was principal of Estacada High School.
Sullivan said he felt "shock and excitement" when he was asked to step in as principal of the middle school.
"Shock because it was so sudden, and excitement because it's great to be around the kids again," he added.
Prior to her resignation, Turnquist had been principal at Estacada Middle School since 2015. Before coming to the Estacada School District, she was assistant principal of Clackamas High School's east campus.
Stephenson noted that losing an administrator mid-school year is difficult for several reasons, including filling Sullivan's shoes at the district's central office during his time at the middle school.
"Having Scott out of (central office) has really left us at a handicap," she said, noting that the majority of Sullivan's duties as director of curriculum, instruction and assessment will be divided between herself and Cyndi Rathbun, the district's technology coordinator.
In terms of the transition's effect on students at the middle school, she noted that "change can be difficult in anyone's life."
"We're putting a lot of attention on systems and routines (at the middle school) to make sure all of the things the students know to be true remain true," she said.
Sullivan reaffirmed his dedication to the students.
"We want to let students know that we care, they're safe and continue their focus on learning," he said. "My job is to take care of the kids, and I'm happy to be doing that."