District also hires new director of special services/special education

Lake Oswego School District officials announced Tuesday that Waluga Jr. High School Vice Principal Dan Sterling will move next door to become principal of Bryant Elementary effective July 1.

Sterling will replace current Principal Bill Johnson, who has served as interim principal for the school year. Johnson, who is retired, temporarily replaced former Principal Erin Prince.

Johnson is a hard act to follow, Sterling said.

'He's just a great guy,' he added.

Sterling, a native of Miami, has been the vice principal at Waluga since July 2005. He holds a law degree from the University of Georgia and had a private sector career before becoming an educator.

'I'm absolutely thrilled to be coming to the Bryant community,' he said. 'I feel right at home there ... and I'm thrilled to be in elementary. It's been a life-long dream for me ... I hope to be there for a long time.'

His background includes experience as an administrator for Portland Public Schools and as a social studies teacher in the Eugene School District.

'Dan Sterling's qualifications, combined with his experience as a vice principal at Waluga, make him particularly well-suited for the role of principal at Bryant,' stated a district press release. 'He already knows the school district well, and will come into his new position knowing many Bryant families whose older students have moved on to Waluga. As a Waluga administrator, he is very aware of what younger students need in order to be successful at the next level and beyond, and he understands the paramount importance of the early years of childhood education.'

Sterling's proximity to his new role will allow him to work with Johnson on transition issues and get to know the Bryant community this spring.

A Portland resident, he currently makes $83,181 as Waluga's vice principal. The current range for elementary principals is $87,393 to $92,657. Next year's salaries are not yet determined.

--- In other staffing news, Patrick Tomblin will become the district's new director of special services and special education effective July 1.

He will replace DiAnne Fentress-Rowe, who was with the district for the past five years.

Tomblin, 46, is the director of special programs for the Greater Albany Public School District, a position he has held since 2001.

Additionally, his background includes experience as a learning resource specialist in the Central School District, and providing facilitation and coordination of the Life Skills Alternative Learning Environments for the Salem-Keizer School District. Tomblin has been a member of the adjunct faculty of Western Oregon University since 1999, and currently teaches a master's level course in special education law.

According to a district press release, recommendations on his behalf repeatedly focused on the collaborative and respectful management style he employs that allows for effective resolutions to difficult issues. Tomblin was interviewed extensively during the application process by three different groups that included school board members, administrators, staff and parents and received unanimous approval.

He currently makes $92,000 in his current position in Albany; salaries have not been determined for next school year.

Tomblin, a Florida native and former resident of West Linn, is eager to relocate to the Portland-area, where his sister and wife's relatives live.

'It seemed like a good opportunity and the timing was right,' he said. 'I'm looking forward to working with students, staff and community members.'

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