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Longtime administrator and Heritage Elementary School Principal Greg Baisch retires

The Woodburn School District will see a number of administrative shakeups next year after the district announced staff changes for the 2019-20 school year.

Between retirements, promotions and transfers, the school district will see six administrators with new roles in area schools when the new school year begins in September.

"Administrative changes occur every year," said Superintendent Chuck Ransom. "It helps staff gain experience to better serve our students and community."

Ransom himself represents the biggest administrative change in the district, having announced his impending retirement on July 31 at the end of the 2018-19 school year. And while he boasts a 19-year history in the Woodburn School District dating back to 2000, outgoing principal Greg Baisch's history with the district dates back nearly twice as long.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Retiring principal Greg Baisch has been the longest-serving educator in the Woodburn School District.Serving as co-principal at Heritage Elementary School for the past two years, Baisch has served in a variety of administrative roles within the district. Prior to his time at Heritage, Baisch was principal at the Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy at the high school, has served as athletic director, elementary school principal and was head coach of the varsity boys soccer program from 1979 to 1987, making him the longest-serving educator in the district until his retirement.

In his place, the district tapped Claudia Kis to serve as associate principal at Heritage. She most recently was assistant principal at Washington Elementary School.

Kis has been with the Woodburn School District since 2005. She started her career as a third-grade bilingual teacher, and in 2008 became an instructional coach for other teachers. Before her move to administration, Kis served as the new teacher-mentor coordinator for the school district.

With Kis moving across town, her position at Washington will be filled by Teresa Alfaro, who joined the Woodburn district's staff in 2017 as assistant principal at Heritage.

Alfaro started her career as an instructional assistant at the Salem-Keizer School District in 2004 and moved into the classroom as a bilingual/ESOL K-5 teacher. She served as the English Language Acquisition Specialist and as the Bilingual Resources Program Associate before taking on her administrative role in Woodburn.

In addition to administrative swaps, Woodburn School District announced two new hires for this fall as well.

Nuvia Nevarez is the new assistant principal at Nellie Muir Elementary School. Nevarez started her teaching career in Phoenix before returning home to Woodburn to teach at French Prairie Middle School in 2017 and serve as Dean of Students at Nellie Muir Elementary in 2019.

And Maricruz Acuña-DeMaagd is the new assistant principal at Lincoln Elementary School. Acuña-DeMaagd started her career in Texas. Her previous education experience includes nine years as an elementary and middle school teacher and instructional mentor. Her most recent experience is as a behavioral specialist in the Salem-Keizer School District since 2017.

In the final administrative change, longtime district employee and Valor Middle School Assistant Principal Yolanda Lopez will replace Mateo Courtney as principal of French Prairie Middle School. The district stated Courtney is resigning due to health reasons.

Lopez has been the assistant principal at Valor for the past five years and has been with the district since 1998, when she started as a special education assistant at French Prairie Middle School. She served at Success High School before earning her credentials and teaching at the middle and high school levels.


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