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Ann Ziehl takes over the reinstated position in July and excited about the opportunity

GRAPHIC PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - The Newberg School District recently announced that Ann Ziehl has been named the district's special programs coordinator.

A somewhat more generous budget has allowed the Newberg School District to re-create the position of special programs coordinator this year. The director is charged with a number of crucial duties for students of a variety of backgrounds.

Ann Ziehl, who previously coordinated student services and was a school psychologist in Newberg, was hired in late June and started July 1. In her new role, she will oversee special education services, an English language (EL) program that includes migrant and second language assistance, coordinates the "flight team" response to traumatic events, works on mental health issues and serves alongside the district's homeless liaison.

It is a lot for one person to take on, admittedly, but Ziehl said she is approaching the new job with a passion for helping out the kids who are often in most need in the district.

Her background as both a special programs coordinator and school psychologist in McMinnville and Canby lend to her experience to take on the position. Her mental health background, in particular, may also prove to be a valuable asset to the district as it navigates the challenges of teen suicide and suicidal ideation.

"I think it's helpful in terms of knowing the avenues in which to go or to send people," Ziehl said. "I've been really impressed with Newberg in terms of their partnerships on mental health. Luke Neff has done a tremendous job connecting us with community partners."

Ziehl will team with Leo Cejahidalgo in the district's approach to mental health, and her coordination of the "flight team" was recently put to the test when a freshman at Newberg High School died suddenly and the school had to organize a space for students to grieve and process the tragedy.

So far, she said, the district has improved its response to such situations and she said she is pleased with the results.

"I thoroughly enjoy this job and playing this role for our kids," Ziehl said. "We have been training lots of staff on being trauma sensitive and what that looks like. We are going to do some pilots on what a trauma-informed school looks like."

The people of Newberg have been friendly in her time here so far, Ziehl said. She previously lived in Canby for 14 years and McMinnville for three, and the close-knit nature of the community in and out of the school district is a big reason why she loves her job.

If things continue to improve from a budget standpoint, Ziehl hopes she and her colleagues can do more in all of the areas they are responsible for. At this point, she's just glad to be in Newberg.

"I love the community," Ziehl said. "I lived in Canby so it reminds me of that a bit – the small town feel, but lots of unique little spaces and places to meet people. It's been a lot of fun working here and everyone has been super warm and inviting."

School briefs

Petrie acting principal at CVMS

Newberg Superintendent Joe Morelock named Casey Petrie acting principal of Chehalem Valley Middle School in June. Petrie will fill the role for the entirety of the 2019-2020 school year.

"Casey Petrie has the experience and skills to lead Chehalem Valley well," Morelock said in a release by the district. "Casey and the rest of the dedicated CVMS staff finished the 2018-2019 very focused on students and families and I know that work and those efforts will continue very strongly next year."

A search is underway for a temporary assistant principal as well.

Farm bureau offers college scholarships

The Yamhill County Farm Bureau announced that it will award a pair of $2,000 college scholarships this year. Full-time college students are eligible if they have completed at least one year of studies and are pursuing a degree that relates to agriculture. Applicants must also have a 2.5 or better college GPA and have graduated from a high school in Yamhill County or have lived in Yamhill County during their senior year of high school. The deadline is Aug. 1 to submit an application form, transcript and two references to the YCFB offices at 1215 N. Adams St. Suite C, in McMinnville. Application materials can also be dropped off in-person. For more information, visit www.oregonfb.org/scholarships or call the farm bureau office at 503-472-9123.


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