Oregon City schools to open with lots of new leaders
When students return to classrooms in Oregon City, they'll see new school leadership in many buildings after an interim superintendent and new school board members took office in July.
Oregon City schools will be opening for five days a week of in-person classes this year. OC's school year is starting late on Sept. 13 to allow more time for completing building construction projects.
As previously reported, Oregon City School Board members selected Assistant Superintendent Kyle Laier as the school district's interim superintendent effective July 1. Laier replaced Larry Didway, who left to take the top job at the Clackamas Education Service District.
In the coming school year, Ryann Furrer will be the new principal of Gaffney Lane Elementary School, Jacinta Ortiz will be the new principal at Holcomb Elementary, Eric Storm will be Clackamas Academy of Industrial Sciences' new principal and Rebekah Beck will be Gardiner Middle School's new principal.
Furrer comes to Oregon City from the Lake Oswego School District, where she served as the interim vice principal at Lakeridge Middle School. With more than 20 years of experience as an educator, she also served as the Lake Oswego district's teacher coach, coordinating with school administrators to support new and striving teachers to improve student learning outcomes.
Taking her first job as an administrator this fall, Ortiz began her educational career as a dual language teacher at Oregon City's ¡Todos Unidos! program in 2008. In 2019, she began serving as a bilingual instructional coach and has worked collaboratively with teachers to develop instructional practices that maximize student learning.
Prior to coming to CAIS three years ago as its dean of students, Storm worked as the David Douglas School District's STEAM coordinator overseeing the development of project-based curriculum. For 13 years owned his own business designing, renovating and building houses in Atlanta,Â relocating to Oregon in 2007. He then worked briefly in construction before entering the classroom as a woodworking instructor at Reynolds High School in Troutdale.
Beck has 13 years of experience in education, many of which have been with the Oregon City School District. She has taught math, science and language arts at Gardiner Middle School. Prior to taking Gardiner's top job, she was a vice principal at The Dalles Middle School and most recently the principal at Redland Elementary.Â
OCSD's new department heads
Due to two retirements and Laier moving up as interim superintendent, OCSD has hired three new members of the school district's top administrative team. Michael Sweeten, the district's new director of operations and capital projects, has 21 years of OCSD experience as a bilingual teacher and a teacher on special assignment for English-language learners. He was the principal of Holcomb Elementary and then Jennings Lodge/Candy Lane Elementary for seven years before moving to Gardiner Middle School in the fall of 2017. During that time he served on the district Facilities Task Force, the Design Team and the Bond Steering Committee.Â
Candice Henkin, the new Supervisor of Oregon City Community Education, served as principal at John McLoughlin Elementary School for the last four years. Some of her volunteer service has been through Clackamas Early Learning Hub, Leaders for Equity and Inclusion for Clackamas County and the Oregon City Optimist Club.
Dr. SaraÂ Deboy, the new interim assistant superintendent effective July 1, will continue to oversee the district's teaching and learning department while serving in the new position.Â
"Dr.Â DeboyÂ brings her expertise and passion for student-centered practice and creating systems that promote access and equity to Oregon City," Laier said. "She has worked closely with administrators and teachers to continually challenge our thinking to broaden our perspectives on instructional practice and engagement. She will continue to bring this important perspective to district leadership and the school board."Â
Deboy started her 23 years of experience in as a classroom teacher and reading specialist in the Beaverton School District. She then moved to Lake Oswego as a building administrator at both elementary and middle schools before coming to Oregon City.Â
OC's new vice principals
José Alfredo Solares-Vega, the new associate principal at ¡Todos Unidos!, taught multiple subjects in a K-6 bilingual school in Guatemala, where he also served as a half-time school administrator. He has worked in the bilingual program at Aloha-Huber Park K-8 School in the Beaverton School district since 2007.
Darryl Coppedge, the new associate principal at Beavercreek Elementary School, has an educational career spanning 23 years, serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tonga, teaching English in Taiwan, teaching grades second, third and sixth grades in Oregon public schools and more recently serving as a middle school associate principal in the Reynolds School District.
Amy Green, the new associate principal at Gaffney Lane Elementary School, came to Oregon City with her family in 2015. She has since served as a special services teacher and coordinator for the district's behavioral intervention specialists, helping coach in the district multi-tiered support system.Â She has served on the Regional Educational Laboratory's Northwest Equity in School Discipline Collaborative since 2019 and has worked with Oregon Department of Education partners since 2016 to develop an integrated statewide vision for educational equity.
Diana Grindea, the new associate principal at Holcomb Elementary School, began her public education career in New York City as a school counselor and case manager for students with disabilities. After relocating to North Portland, she joined the Lake Oswego School District as the school counselor of Oak Creek Elementary, the district's liaison for homeless students and co-founder of the district's first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee,
Dr. Carmen Restrepo, John McLoughlin Elementary School's new associate principal, currently serves as a principal on special assignment for the Cajon Valley Union School District, supporting remote and hybrid learning in addition to managing COVID-19 policies and procedures. Over the years she has served as a teacher, beginning teacher support coordinator, English-language facilitator, coordinator of educational technology and site administrator.
Victoria Aguilar, the new associate principal at Redland Elementary School, has worked for Canby School District for approximately 20 years. Her experience includes working as instructional assistant, interpreter/translator and as the first teacher for a newly launched Dual Immersion Program.
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