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Riverdale names new grade school principal

Jeremiah Patterson comes from the Gladstone School District

Riverdale School District announced this week that Jeremiah Patterson, an administrator with strengths in literacy and bilingual education, would become the grade school's new principal effective July 1.

The decision comes after a two-year search process by a selection committee of five staff members and four parents.

Patterson will replace interim principal Al Fitzpatrick.

'Jeremiah is a young, bright and highly articulate educator with a passion for working with elementary children and middle school youth,' said a letter from Superintendent Thomas Hagerman.

Patterson comes to Riverdale from the Gladstone School District, where he is in his second year as the assistant principal and literacy coordinator at John Wetten Elementary School, a K-4 school.

Prior to his administrative experience, Patterson taught at the elementary level in public schools in Boston, San Diego and Milwaukie.

A California native, he graduated from Willamette University and then went on to receive his master's degree in administration. He is currently a doctoral student at Portland State University.

Patterson said he is thrilled to begin getting to know parents and students in the Riverdale School District, where he sees strength in languages, the arts and small class size.

'I grew up in a K-8 district and I really find a lot of value in the setup (at Riverdale),' he said. 'K-8 brings a lot of leadership opportunities for children.

'I am really excited to be the principal in the building and work with staff to create a vision and see that come to fruition,' he added.

Patterson, a Portland resident, will use the next few months to wrap up his current role and prepare for his transition into Riverdale. Hagerman and Fitzpatrick plan to hold several 'meet and greet' opportunities for Riverdale families this spring.

'Jeremiah's strengths are numerous; however, it is clear that his knowledge and skills around literacy, bilingual education, curriculum and instruction, professional development and building design and bond work will help to keep the momentum of current school and district initiatives moving in a positive direction,' Hagerman said.