New principals named across Hillsboro School District
A half-dozen Hillsboro School District schools will find themselves with new principals when students return to classes this fall.
The school district announced on Tuesday that former Ladd Acres Elementary School Principal Francesca Sinapi has been named the new executive director of schools, replacing former director Grant Corliss, who retired June 30.
As executive director, Sinapi has direct oversight of approximately half of the District's 25 elementary schools.
At Ladd Acres, she created a schedule that allowed for collaboration among specialists and grade-level teachers; implemented a year-round after-school enrichment program that serves more than 300 students each quarter; prioritized language acquisition and cultural understanding by bringing the Chinese Confucius Classroom program to her school and even fundraised the resources to build a wellness room, garden center, and gazebo.
Sinapi began her educational career 28 years ago as a teaching assistant in the Baldwin Park School District in California. She moved to Oregon in 2001 and spent the next more than a decade working as a classroom teacher, intervention specialist, and administrative intern in the Beaverton School District, moving to Hillsboro in 2013, when she was hired as Ladd Acres' principal.
Taking Sinapi's place at Ladd Acres is Jennifer Robbins. For the past six years, Robbins has served as an instructional coach, teacher, site technology facilitator, and administrative substitute at McKinney Elementary School.
After beginning her career as an elementary classroom teacher in the Hillsboro and Beaverton School Districts, Robbins was a Teacher on Special Assignment for HSD, focusing on math curriculum and research and development. In that role, she developed math curriculum and assessment resources for teachers and principals, and also co-facilitated the Math Adoption Study Team for middle school math curriculum. In April 2019, Robbins was honored with a Crystal Apple Excellence in Education award from the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce.
South Meadows Middle School
Previous McKinney Elementary School Principal Justin Welch is the new principal of South Meadows Middle School, taking the place of Mary Mendez who retired on June 30.
Welch began his career as a fifth-grade teacher and grade level team leader in the Jordan School District in Utah. After five years in that position, he was given the opportunity to also serve as an administrative intern at the elementary, middle, and district office levels. Next, he was selected as the assistant principal of South Hills Middle School. In that role, he supervised the World Language, Social Studies, and Special Education departments at his school, and led professional development for all assistant principals in the district. He also collaborated with students and families on effective behavior and attendance interventions, and improved the school climate by creating video announcements focusing on student successes.
After two-and-a-half years in that role and a brief time as principal of Midas Creek Elementary School, he moved to Hillsboro to accept the principal position at McKinney.
Over the past five years, Welch has created a Spanish-language Parent Advisory Council (PAC), gained status as a Nationally Distinguished Title I School, guided the school to a trauma-informed approach and implemented a wellness room, established an on-site food pantry and clothing closet for families in need, received nearly $80,000 in grants to support student engagement, and expanded after-school programming to include thirteen robust offerings for students.
McKinney Elementary School
Taking Welch's place at McKinney is Tristin Burnett. For the past four years, Burnett has been a dual language teacher for third- through sixth-grade students at Mooberry Elementary School. There, she proved herself to be a highly effective collaborator for school-wide systems, the district said — not only dual language, but also positive behavior support, trauma-informed care, attendance, and more.
In addition, Burnett has been a member of the Superintendent's Future Leaders cohort for the past two years, and has served as an administrative substitute at Mooberry, Jackson, Brookwood, and Minter Bridge Elementary Schools. Burnett began her educational career as cooperating teacher of English language development at South Meadows Middle School and fourth-grade dual language at W.L. Henry Elementary School. She spent four months at the Nido de Aguilas International School of Chile, collaborating with multinational educators, administrators, and students, designing instruction focused on language acquisition.
Burnett spent a year teaching fifth-grade dual language at Swegle Elementary School in Salem before joining the team at Reedville Elementary School in Hillsboro as a dual language teacher for grades 3 and 4. After two years there, Ms. Burnett assumed her role at Mooberry.
Rosedale Elementary School
Leading Rosedale Elementary School is Erika Pierce, previous principal of Minter Bridge Elementary School. Pierce began her educational career in 1996 as a sixth grade teacher at Meadowbrook Intermediate School in Washington. After four years there, she took a job in the Hillsboro School District as the counselor at Groner K-8 School. In 2002, she became the counselor at Imlay Elementary School and spent the 2003-04 school year as a fifth-grade teacher.
She moved to WW.L. Henry Elementary School in 2008 and, in 2015, spent half of her time as the school's counselor and half as its PLC coach.
Pierce accepted the position at Minter Bridge in 2016. She has a passion for equity, classroom guidance, and community-building, and is a collaborative leader.
Minter Bridge Elementary School
Taking Pierce's place at Minter Bridge is Martha Rodriguez, previous instructional coach at Eastwood Elementary School. Rodriguez was a dual language classroom teacher at Minter Bridge for six years before assuming her position at Eastwood in 2016.
As an instructional coach, Rodriguez collaborated with teachers on evidence-based practices and modeled lesson delivery. She also supported school-wide climate and culture efforts while integrating trauma-informed practices, and helped coordinate Right Brain programming.
For the past three summers, Rodriguez has served as the principal of the District's summer school program, overseeing several hundred students spanning grades K-12.
As principal, she created the master schedule; coordinated special events; and developed and aligned curriculum, instruction and assessments, among many other duties.
Reedville Elementary School
Leading Reedville Elementary School is Berta Lule, previous assistant principal at Lincoln Street Elementary School. Before accepting the assistant principal position in 2015, Lule had several years of experience in the Hillsboro School District. She taught at W.L. Henry Elementary School in both English-only and in English-Spanish Dual Language classrooms from 1996 through 2012. She then spent two years working as a Bilingual Instructional Coach for both Henry and Reedville Elementary Schools before filling the same role at Mooberry Elementary School. At Lincoln Street, Lule proved herself to be a valuable member of the administrative team. Adept at communicating with both staff and families, Lule is committed to equitable practices that close the achievement gap and lead to high-quality education for all students.
Lincoln Street Elementary School
Joining Principal Carmen Brodniak at Lincoln Street Elementary School is Teresa Vázquez, previous assistant principal at Orenco Elementary School. A former HSD student, Vázquez spent twelve years working as a Dual Language teacher at Vose Elementary School in Beaverton at both the first- and second-grade levels before accepting her administrative position at Orenco in 2016. At Vose, she also coordinated both regular and ELL/Migrant Summer School, and served as a cooperating teacher at Portland State University. Fluent in English and Spanish, Vázquez is skilled in classroom management and curriculum articulation, and is a strong collaborator.
Gregg O'Mara, previous director of alternative programs, is joining the Student Services team as a director. Prior to his leadership of Miller Education Center and the District's other alternative programs, which began in 2014, O'Mara was the principal of Liberty High School for eleven years. He served as a special education teacher and department coordinator early in his career, which will serve him well in his new position. O'Mara has a passion and commitment to equitable and appropriate access to learning for all students, as evidenced by his launch of Big Picture Learning at the Miller West campus two years ago. Big Picture is based upon real-world experiences and student-directed learning, and has proven to be a popular option for some of our high school students.
Taking over as principal of alternative programs is Tiffany Mosqueda, previous assistant principal at Century High School. Prior to accepting her role at Century in 2017, Mosqueda had worked at Miller Education Center since 2011. She initially served as the Harkins House and Washington County Jail program teacher, and then became the GED program teacher in 2014. In the latter role, Mosqueda restructured the GED program to allow students greater access to educational support and technology, while increasing the number of GED graduates every year. In 2016-17, she served on the Finding 4 committee, which focused on building relationships and knowing every student by name, strength, and need. That year she also co-led the 8.5 Summer Bridge program for at-risk eighth-graders heading into high school. Early in her career, Mosqueda worked at Lakeridge High School as their development teacher and preschool program director. Mosqueda excels at developing relationships with students, staff, and families.
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