If you were to tell Sean Aker a month ago that hLINDSAY KEEFER - Sean Aker, new principal of John F. Kennedy High School in Mount Angel, stands in front of the school, which is undergoing construction over the summer.e would soon be a high school principal in Mount Angel, he would have thought you were crazy.

“I wasn’t looking at all,” said the former Scio Middle School teacher. “This fell into my lap. The only reason I’d contemplate moving from Scio is we were looking to move closer to family.”

But Aker said he quickly fell in love with the job and the administrative team in the Mount Angel School District. He is now the fourth principal at John F. Kennedy High School in five years, replacing Craig Swanson.

Swanson, former assistant principal at Sprague High School, has now returned there after one year in Mount Angel to be its principal.

But Aker said he plans on sticking around for a while.

“It’s hard to wipe the smile off my face,”?he said. “I’m sure the community and staff has concerns, but all I can do is show up and work hard. I never pay attention to job descriptions because of that part that says ‘other duties as assigned.’ That means if something needs done, I make sure it gets done.”

Superintendent Troy Stoops is also confident Aker will do well as the new principal.

“I think he’s going to be a great fit for our community,”?Stoops said.

While the majority of Aker’s professional experience has been at the middle school level, he does have experience coaching high school baseball.

“There’s a different set of needs and skills with high school students,”?Aker said. “I’m excited to find out more about their needs.”

Aker also brings with him a bilingual background, having just spent two weeks of Spanish immersion in San Miguel, Mexico, with his wife.

“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to use that,”?he said, noting the school district’s sizable English language learner population.

Aker is also looking forward to expanding the school’s career technical education program in the future and working on Advancement Via Individual Determination, a program that helps at-risk and low-achieving youths to improve. In fact, he’s meeting most of his staff for the first time this week at an AVID conference in San?Diego.

“I know Troy had a vision and I’m really excited to be here for that new wave (of education),” he said.

Lindsay Keefer covers Hubbard, Mount Angel and St. Paul. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-765-1193.

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