The hunt has begun for a new MES principal as Principal Frank Luzaich has accepted a new position in the Lake Oswego School District.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Molalla Elementary Principal Frank Luzaich has accepted a new position in the Lake Oswego School District.Molalla Elementary School Principal Frank Luzaich is saying goodbye to the school at the end of the academic year. He has accepted a position as Executive Director of Elementary Programs in the Lake Oswego School District.

"The Molalla Elementary staff and this District have been extraordinary," Luzaich said. "MES has deep reserves of good for these kids, and I will miss the kids, staff and district colleagues very much."

He added, "Molalla is a great community with so much to offer families, kids and educators. And I've learned that first hand. Thank you, Molalla!"

Luzaich came to MES in 2015 after 20 years in the Sherwood School District, where he was first a fifth-grade teacher at Archer Glen Elementary before transitioning to working as a teacher on special assignment. He then became the planning principal for Edy Ridge Elementary, which opened in 2009. Luzaich served as principal there for six years.

"In some ways, I felt that Molalla Elementary found me," Luzaich said. "In April of 2015, I reached out to Superintendent Tony Mann when I kept seeing the posting for elementary principals in the Molalla River School District. I had a great job in Sherwood, yet I wondered if I might be the right school leader for a new community. Almost immediately, it felt like a hand-in-glove fit, and the past three years proved that."

During his tenure at MES, Luzaich has considered himself one member of a dedicated team.

"An elementary principal is a key position in the organization. No doubt," Luzaich said. "Our success at Molalla Elementary, however, has been a total team effort… For me, my role as a principal has been to join the team, roll up my sleeves, and support the momentum and energy of learning, positive school climate and results for MES kids."

That team has accomplished much, including improvement in DIBELS data, an oral reading fluency test, from 36 percent of students reading at grade level to 60 percent, according to Mann. In fact, on the most recent school report card, MES improved in every area.

"Since 2015, I've watched the school environment transform physically and culturally at Molalla Elementary, and the adults and children at Molalla Elementary School deserve to beam with pride and confidence," Mann said in an announcement to the school community.

"[Luzaich] will be missed," Mann added.

Though the team leader is moving on, Luzaich isn't worried about the future of the school.

"I am confident Molalla Elementary will attract a strong candidate pool and that the new principal will sustain our trajectory," Luzaich said.

This week, Mann met with MES staff and parents to learn their hopes for the future of the school. He intends to continue to include them in the selection process. The position should be posted before spring break, and Mann hopes to announce a new principal by May 1.

"Only good things are ahead for the Molalla Elementary Community as we move forward to recruit and hire the next principal," Mann said in the announcement.

Kristen Wohlers
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