The Madras High School assistant principal, Brian Crook, will step into the principal role in July.
Crook, who has been with the Jefferson County School District since 2016, said he is excited to take the next step as current co-principals Mark Neffendorf and H.D. Weddel retire.
"I just love this place, we've got amazing kids that are fun to be around and fun to work with," said Crook. "The staff are outstanding; they believe in our students and are totally committed to these kids and families."
Before coming to Madras in 2016, he spent eight years with Bend-LaPine as principal for High Desert Middle School from 2014–2016, and prior to that, as assistant principal for Bend Senior High School from 2008-2014.
Earlier, he helped design Redmond High School's alternative education program and Obsidian Middle School's health curriculum from 1994-1996. He began his career in 1987 as a teacher for Portland public schools.
"Brian has been a huge advocate for students and educators within the district and we are fortunate to have him as principal for Madras High School next year," said Superintendent Ken Parshall. "He is a great leader and will continue the important progress our team has made to help students succeed."
Over the past several years, JCSD graduation rates have improved significantly. For the district, graduation rates have risen to 77% and for Madras High School, rates are 91%. Parshall credits the team for their focus on relationships and professional learning for educators.
"The foundation for everything here is the relationships between teachers, staff, students and families. I think that this team has a total commitment and vision to helping these kids and it's so much fun to be a part of. Everyone is all in and they are passionate about our kids. Oftentimes, there are tears in the room when staff members talk about how great our students are," said Crook.
During the next school year, Crook said MHS educators will continue to work in Professional Learning Communities to improve student outcomes in language arts, math and science.
"I'm most looking forward to building on the foundation that's here. I have some big shoes to fill, but we have so many great ideas and programs to help our kids," said Crook. "I'm honored and humbled to be in a position to support the continued work and vision for improved student learning and teaching."
Crook and his wife Michelle, who works for JCSD as an instructional coach, are the parents of three young adults and are enjoying two grandchildren.
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