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OCSD Superintendent Dayle Spitzer comes on board July 1 with several reassigned administrators.

Oregon City School District will return to classes this fall with a new superintendent and four new school principals, along with several reassigned administrators.Dayle Spitzer

In May, Hillsboro's Assistant Superintendent Dayle Spitzer was chosen by Oregon City School Board members to lead the OC School District starting July 1, when four OC schools will have new principals.

Marjorie Ruzicka, who was selected as the new principal for Oregon City High School, replaces Carey Wilhelm, who announced her resignation from the position at the end of the school year in the wake of a Feb. 2 assembly that caused a student to suffer "severe emotional distress" according to a lawsuit. Marjorie Ruzicka

Ruzicka has been in the education field for 26 years, 16 as a teacher in Washington state's Vancouver School District. She then spent 10 years as a high school associate principal in Vancouver and Tualatin.

During her time as a teacher, Ruzicka taught Spanish and French and developed the language immersion program in Vancouver's middle and high schools.

"I am most proud of the relationships I've built with students, families and staff over the years and how that translates into seeing students walk across the stage at graduation, ready to take on the exciting world in front of them," she said.

If the district cannot reach a settlement over the Feb. 2 incident, a trial is tentatively scheduled in 2023. As previously reported, OC school officials apologized for the assembly broadcasting a video in which a student admitted to abusing his ex-girlfriend. Last month, an attorney for the school district filed a court statement denying that the school broadcast John Doe's admission of abuse and assaults of Jane Doe over the objection of fellow students.

"Our unity committee warned our administration about this story, yet nothing was done," said Oregon City High School student council member and senior Wynter Davis during the Feb. 4 school board meeting. "It's putting the safety of our students, and the confidentiality and anonymity of our students and the victims who were hurt at risk and that is not OK."Josh Bryan

Holcomb Elementary School will have its third new principal in three years with Josh Byran moving to lead Holcomb after serving as a high school principal at Oregon City Service Learning Academy for the past five years. Previously, Byran taught three years in the St. Helens School District, and spent five years as an OC teacher.

As OCSLA's principal, Bryan worked to integrate trauma-informed practices throughout the school, increase project-based opportunities for students, and build community partnerships through internships and extended learning opportunities.Jacinta Ortiz

Jacinta Ortiz has returned to Oregon City's ¡Todos Unidos! program after serving for one year as the principal of Holcomb Elementary. As the ¡Todos Unidos! principal she looks forward to transitioning the K-5 program onto one campus at the former Candy Lane Elementary School starting this fall.

The bilingual school had been operating on two small campuses, with kindergarten through second grade at the former Jennings Lodge Elementary and third through fifth grades at Candy Lane.

Taking her first job as an administrator at Holcomb Elementary last fall, Ortiz began her educational career as a dual language teacher with the ¡Todos Unidos! program in 2008. In 2019, she then began serving as a bilingual instructional coach and worked collaboratively with teachers for two years to develop instructional practices that maximize student learning.

Sara Craig is OCSLA's new principal after working in Oregon City schools for the past seven years, first as an OCHS learning specialist, then as coordinator of Jackson Prep alternative program, and most recently as vice-principal at Tumwata Middle School. Sara CraigShe hopes to use her experience as a member of the district's Equity in School Discipline Team for "continuing to learn and practice more inclusive and strength-based ways of supporting student learning and participation in their school community."

Rachel Engstrom was selected as the associate principal at Redland Elementary School, following several years of serving in the same role at Gardiner Middle School. Previously, Engstrom worked for 18 years at Tumwata Middle School (then Ogden) as a study-skills and reading teacher, and as an eighth-grade social studies teacher.

In Oregon City's central school administration office, Communications and Community Partnerships Director Lisa Normand on July 1 became the director of human resources, and Melissa Berg is now director of student services, where she previously served in an associate director's capacity.

Berg's 15 years were largely in the classroom as a learning specialist and a teacher on special assignment, Her work in Oregon City School District includes implementing behavioral intervention strategies into OC schools, mentoring and on-boarding new staff over the past seven years, and pushing the district toward a more inclusive model of education for all Oregon City students.

Normand has been working for OCSD for over 20 years, beginning her career in education as the director of the 21st Century grant in 2002. She went on to supervise OCSD Community Education before becoming an administrator at both elementary and middle school levels.


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