Prineville’s Barnes Butte Elementary names new principal

A school administrator from Camas, Wash. has been named the new principal at Barnes Butte Elementary School in Prineville.

Taylor Trautman will replace Jim Bates as principal of Barnes Butte next school year, Crook County School District Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson announced this week.

“She is a dynamic, upcoming administrator and is ready to serve the children of Crook County,” Johnson said. “We were impressed with her excitement about working with students and working in Prineville, and we are pleased to add her to our team.”

Trautman recently moved to Bend from Vancouver, Washington, where she was most recently associate principal at Illahee Elementary in the Evergreen School District in Camas.

She said she did some research before applying for the Barnes Butte Elementary principal position and felt that Prineville is a strong community that felt like home.

“I really felt a sense of community, and when you drive up to the school, it feels like a safe place,” she said. “I’m excited to be a part of that community and be a safe place for all students.”

Trautman was raised in Westport, a small town on the Washington coast. She earned an Associate of Arts Degree from Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Washington. She attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and early childhood development, a Master’s Degree in education administration, and a principal certification.

She was an elementary school teacher for nine years at schools in Washington before becoming an administrator. She was associate principal at Beacon Hill Elementary in the Kelso School District before her latest position as associate principal at Illahee Elementary.

Trautman’s husband, Matthew Trautman, works as a dermatologist in Bend. They have an infant son, Golden.

They have visited Prineville frequently since moving to Central Oregon six months ago, and the new principal says Prineville is similar to her hometown.

She began her teaching career in Westport, right next to her own kindergarten teacher.

“This is what drew me to Prineville,” Trautman said. “It emulates that same community-based feeling.”

She has taken the last school year off to be with her son but looks forward to diving in with both feet as principal of Barnes Butte.

“I’m looking forward to building relationships with staff, students and families and being part of the community and meeting their needs and excelling on what they’re doing great,” Trautman said. “If the community is happy with the school, we must be doing something awesome.”

Trautman will replace Bates, who will take on the role of principal of the new elementary adventure theme school that the district will open at Pioneer South in September.

“We really liked her energy, experience and knowledge of the teaching and learning cycle,” said CCSD Director of School Improvement Joel Hoff. “We think she’ll bring in a deep knowledge of school systems and school culture and will engage the community to make it the best school it can be.”

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