Gladstone School District returns to classes with new leaders
Gladstone School District officials hired several new school leaders in time for the beginning of the school year. Lindy Sproul will be the interim principal at John Wetten Elementary, coming back to education for another year after her retirement in June. Sproul had served for 10 years as principal of Boeckman Creek Primary School in the West Linn-Wilsonville District.
Sproul replaces Michael Clutter, who led Gladstone elementary school for only one year. Reached on the phone by Pamplin Media Group, Clutter said that he's still looking for another job in the education field. He declined to make further comment.
Gladstone normally hires educators in the spring, with new hires starting the next school year. With the sudden exit of Clutter at the end of the school year, Sproul stepped forward to serve at Wetten Elementary while the district searches for a permanent principal for the school.
Prior to her service in West Linn-Wilsonville, Sproul served as instructional coordinator, and she taught elementary and middle school for many years. She also worked as an adjunct professor for Portland State University, Lewis & Clark College and Concordia University.
"I am committed to providing an exceptional educational experience for our students, engaging each child in rich, rigorous and authentic learning," Sproul said. "Children are naturally curious, and we want to foster and grow that curiosity in all subject areas."
Kassy Babeckos will serve as assistant principal at Wetten Elementary, replacing Lori Buchanan who retired after serving in Gladstone schools since 1989. Babeckos has served the Gladstone District since 2004, working as a teacher and literacy specialist.
"It is my privilege to support John Wetten Elementary and the many talented staff and students here," Babeckos said. "My goal is to continue to provide a supportive and equitable climate and culture of care at John Wetten. I love this community and am looking forward to working with our amazing students, staff and volunteers."
Aaron Kerns will serve as assistant principal at Kraxberger Middle School, replacing Charlie Mikulsky, now an educator in Wisconsin. Kerns comes from the Woodburn School District, where he served as dean of students, an instructional coach and a program coordinator since 2017. He was a teacher in Woodburn from 2013 to 2018, and prior to that he taught in Los Altos, California, for four years.
"I'm thrilled to join the team at Kraxberger Middle School," Kerns said. "This year presents a wonderful opportunity to learn, build relationships, and accomplish great things for all. Go Bulldogs!"
Ben Bowman is starting as the school district's new director of student and family supports. In this role, he will work on partnership development to improve academic achievement, family stability, health, school attendance and well-being. He begins work Sept. 6, replacing Lennie Bjornsen, who retired in June.
Bowman previously served in the director's office at the Oregon Department of Education. Before that, he was a legislative affairs specialist for the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators. A native Oregonian, Bowman comes from a family of educators. He holds a master's degree in policy, organization and leadership studies from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Oregon.
"The Gladstone School District is known across the state for its innovative strategies for supporting students and families," Bowman said. "This record of imaginative, forward-thinking work is why I am excited to join the team and help sustain programs that empower every student to succeed."
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