Perla Rodriguez has been in the FGSD for 20 years and was recognized for her leadership as Echo Shaw's principal.

STAFF PHOTO: OLIVIA SINGER - Perla Rodriguez thanked all those who came to support her as she recieved the award, including her own principal when she was a child.Students, parents, administrators and community members gathered in Echo Shaw Elementary School's gymnasium in Cornelius to surprise the school's principal with a major award.

Principal Perla Rodriguez is the 2018 Elementary School Principal of the Year for the state of Oregon.

A completely full gymnasium with people from across the Forest Grove School District, as well as Rodriguez's parents and children, joined to award and congratulate her for her big achievement.

Rodriguez has worked in the Forest Grove School District for the past 20 years and was recognized as being a standout school leader by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators during an assembly at the school on Wednesday, April 25.

"In recognition of her outstanding work at creating a truly outstanding school ... in honor of her deep engagement in her community and in a number of communities around Oregon, and in honor of her leadership in growing the next generation of outstanding school leaders in the state of Oregon," said Craig Hawkins executive director of COSA, "it is my pleasure to announce that the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators and the Oregon Elementary School Principals Association has selected Dr. Perla Rodriguez as the 2018 Oregon Elementary School Principal of the Year."STAFF PHOTO: OLIVIA SINGER - A surprise assembly was held at the school to present Rodriguez with the award.

Forest Grove's interim Superintendent John O'Neill also spoke highly of his coworker of 16 years at Wednesday's assembly.

"She's always risen to the challenge, she's always put students first and there's been a lot of firsts here under Dr. Rodriguez's leadership," O'Neill said, "and it is such an honor and a pleasure to work with her.

O'Neill told of Rodriguez's "firsts in the district." She was the first principal to implement a school uniform policy in the district, the first to offer a preschool program, the first to turn half-day kindergarten into full-day before it was mandated by the state, the first to create a clothes closet for students at the school, and the first to create a food bank at a school in the Forest Grove School District, O'Neill said.

Rodriguez is also the district coordinator for the dual-language program and was the first to lead the school-wide program in the district, O'Neill said.

"I've had the honor and privilege of working with Dr. Rodriguez for the last 16 years here in the Forest Grove School District, and I can't think of anyone more deserving than her to receive this," he said.

Rodriguez started as a third-grade teacher at Echo Shaw 20 years ago, O'Neill said, then worked her way up to principal of Cornelius Elementary School, where she led the school for nine years before working as the principal of Echo Shaw.

The students of Echo Shaw gave their principal a standing ovation at Wednesday's assembly, cheering loudly for this year's top elementary principal in the state.

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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