New principals named for Elk Meadow, Buckingham elementary schools

Ben Johnston and Michelle Wilson

The following is an announcement about new principals named in the Bend-La Pine School District:

Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Steven Cook announced today the selection of two new elementary principals and seven assistant principals for the coming school year.

Ben Johnston will be the Interim Principal at Elk Meadow elementary School. Johnston is currently in his first year as the Dean of Students at Elton Gregory Middle School in Redmond. Prior to his current role, he served as a district-level administrator as the Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Technology for the Pequot Lakes School District in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota for eight years. He has nine years of elementary classroom teaching experience. 

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“I am so excited to join the Elk Meadow Elementary School team and community,” Johnston said. “As a team member, leader and parent I will model compassion, strive to keep the complicated simple, and promote a culture where all feel welcome. I consider it an honor to be a part of Bend-La Pine Schools and have this opportunity to connect with the families within.”

“Ben’s personal and professional experiences have helped shape his perspective as an equity leader,” Dr. Cook said. “He brings a collaborative, humble, solution-oriented approach to leadership.”

Michelle Wilson, currently the Assistant Superintendent in the Canby School District, will be the new Principal at Buckingham Elementary School. She previously served as a principal in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District and as an instructional coordinator in several schools for 14 years.

“Michelle is an experienced leader who has a track record of success in the classroom as a teacher, in schools as a coach and then a building principal, and at the district level as an Assistant Superintendent. She will be a great addition to the Buckingham community,” Dr. cook said.

“I am honored and grateful to join Buckingham Elementary and Bend-La Pine Schools. Serving and supporting schools is wonderful and exciting work,” Wilson said. “There is nothing quite like being in a learning community each day and working collaboratively to create places of belonging, growth, and opportunity for each student. Building relationships with students, staff and families will be my first priority as I get started this summer.”

Other announcements for administrative positions:

Paul Hutter and Kelly Beaudry will be Assistant Principals at Bend Senior High School. Hutter is completing his first year as part-time Assistant Principal at BSHS and is currently their International Baccalaureate program coordinator. A Bend Senior High alumnus, Beaudry is the Special Programs Administrator for Lincoln County School District, a position she has held for five years. Prior to that, she was a Principal with Lincoln County for six years and spent eight years teaching with Bend-La Pine Schools.

Amanda Gylling, currently the Student Services Coordinator at Bear Creek Elementary, will be the Assistant Principal at Elk Meadow Elementary. She will succeed Frank Hanson, who is moving to a teaching role in the district.

Carl Hjeresen, currently the Student Services Coordinator at Rosland Elementary, will be the Assistant Principal at La Pine Elementary. He will succeed Megan Silvey, who will be the new Principal at La Pine Elementary.

Brian Raber, currently the Assistant Principal at Linwood E. Howe Elementary School in Culver City, California, will be the new Assistant Principal at Silver Rail Elementary. He replaces Stephanie Jensen, who will be the new Assistant Principal at Buckingham Elementary.

Laci Fischer, current Interim Assistant Principal at Lava Ridge Elementary, will assume that role in a regular status.

Tim Burdsall, current Interim Assistant Principal at North Star Elementary, will assume that role in a regular status.


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