School news — Candace Pelt comes from the Sheridan School District to replace Don Dorman as director of special programs

The Newberg School District has tabbed Sheridan school administrator Candace Pelt to be its new director of special programs.

Pelt will fill the role left vacant by Don Dorman, who won a Crystal Apple award in the spring before leaving to become assistant superintendent of the Linn-Benton-Lincoln Education Service District.

Dorman spearheaded the launch of the district’s Chehalem Online Learning Alliance (COLA) program in the winter of 2012, but Pelt brings her own wealth of experience to the position having directed special programs for the Sheridan School District, specifically managing federal programs and special education.

During her tenure in Sheridan, Pelt directed the Japanese Charter School, taught English Language Learners (ELL) and assisted middle school administration. Under her leadership, the district developed new programs and initiatives aimed at improving instruction and operations, providing opportunities for students and reducing costs.

“Candace brings the knowledge and experience we were seeking,” said Newberg Superintendent Kym LeBlanc-Esparza. “Her expertise in special education and depth of experience with ELL populations will help us better serve these students in our general education classes.”

Pelt’s responsibilities in Newberg will include directing the English Language Learning (ELL) and Migrant Program services, supervising alternative education (including COLA and the new Catalyst alternative high school program), coordinating special education, overseeing federal title programs and tutoring, as well as homeless, long-term care and treatment programs.

Before becoming an administrator, Pelt taught fourth through sixth grades at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, Calif., and developed a behavior modification program that is still used throughout that district. Pelt increased student math and reading levels, planned and coordinated tutoring programs and designed and implemented a standards-based science curriculum, helping her earn a nomination for Disney Teacher of the Year in 2002.

Pelt holds a master’s degree in educational administration and a bachelor’s degree in behavior science from National University in San Bernardino and lives in McMinnville. She earned her special education endorsement at George Fox University and is enrolled in GFU’s doctor of education in educational leadership program.

“Working in a small school district has allowed me to know every part of this position,” Pelt said. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue this work with a team of talented professionals.”

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