The Woodburn School District has hired Eric Swenson to fill the vacant principal position at Wellness, Business and Sports School (WeBSS), one of Woodburn High School’s five small academies.

Swenson is currently assistant superintendent of Silver Falls School District.

He replaces Casey Woolley, who is shifting to the Woodburn district office as of July 1 as the new director of WOODBURN INDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO - Eric Swenson, shown in this 2010 file photo, has been named the new principal of Wellness, Business and Sports School.

Swenson began his career in the education field in Woodburn in 1986 at Woodburn Middle School. He was also an assistant principal at Lincoln Elementary from 2004 to 2005 and principal of French Prairie Middle School from 2005 until 2010 in Woodburn.

According to district officials, he brings a wealth of educational and administrative experience with him to benefit Woodburn students and staff at WeBSS.

“Eric has overseen the implementation of the new evaluation system for teachers at Silver Falls,” Superintendent Chuck Ransom said in a press release. “We are pleased that he brings that experience to assist us in assessing teachers so that we can continue to improve our effectiveness at educating our students.”

When Swenson left Woodburn for the position in Silverton in 2010, he stayed connected to the community of Woodburn, where he lives with his family. He has served on the city of Woodburn Budget Committee since 2008. He is a member of Rotary (Woodburn and Silverton clubs) and the Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Swenson is president of Woodburn Together and is serving on the steering committee for the Woodburn Boys & Girls Club.

“My years as a principal here were the most rewarding of my career,” Swenson said in the press release. “So it is great to be able to return home and contribute to the success of my district.”

Swenson’s son has participated in both the Spanish and Russian dual-language programs at Heritage Elementary and his wife is a physical education teacher at Valor Middle School.

Swenson holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Oregon State University and a master’s degree in public and educational administration from Lewis and Clark College.

When asked what his leadership focus is, Swenson replied, “Good teaching is exactly like good coaching. A coach takes any athlete at any skill level and focuses on developing them to their full potential. That’s what teaching should be about.”

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