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Waluga to get LOHS vice principal Parke

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Lake Oswego School District officials announced recently that John Parke, vice principal at Lake Oswego High School, will become the vice principal at Waluga Junior High School effective July 1.

The current Waluga vice principal, Dan Sterling, is set to move to adjacent Bryant Elementary School as its new principal this summer.

Parke, 43, has served as vice principal at LOHS since joining the district in 2000.

Prior to coming to the district, Parke was vice principal at Newport Middle School in the Lincoln County School District.

As the administrator responsible for student discipline, he has been an important part of the efforts directed toward positive school culture, according to district officials. He also organized and oversaw emergency drill procedures.

'Basically, my job became discipline all day long because I decided to be the guy to do it and make it consistent to help the school,' he said. 'It's not that it was uninteresting or unimportant, but I didn't get to do the other activities that came with running the school.'

Parke said he has a strong interest in working toward a middle level or high school principal position within the next few years, and the vice principal position at Waluga presents an opportunity to grow and pursue that goal.

'His new position will afford him expanded opportunity to work with curriculum development, instruction, staffing and scheduling,' said a district press release.

District officials said Parke's main strength as an administrator is his ability to establish good rapport and positive relationships with students. 'At LOHS, he is very invested in the school community and well-liked by students and staff,' the press release added.

A native of Orange County, Calif., Parke attended college on a full-ride scholarship for football and received a degree in education from Stanislaus State. He began his teaching career in a Stockton, Calif., high school and began working toward his master's degree in administration.

After working at a middle school and as an administrator at an elementary school, he moved to Newport and stayed there for four years before coming to Lake Oswego. He now lives in West Linn.

Recently, he met with Superintendent Bill Korach and discussed his long-term career goals. Korach felt the position at Waluga would be the perfect place for Parke to begin making steps toward becoming a principal. Parke's middle school experience also worked in his favor.

'I'm not getting the experience I need to transition and do that without leaving the district,' Parke noted. 'He presented this as an opportunity where I'll get to do a lot of things.'

According to Parke, his responsibilities at Waluga will including hiring, making a schedule, developing curriculum and working with parents and students. He will also work alongside Principal Steve Sherrell, whom Parke got to know during the school construction process.

'The variety is much, much better,' he said. 'I love middle school so it's going to benefit both of us.'

Parke's position is now open and the district is seeking a qualified candidate to fill the role. According to Parke, there are many teachers within the district with administrative degrees and internship experience that could take on the job.

'I really hope to find someone who cares about the school and the kids ... I would want to leave the school in really good hands,' he said.

Sterling currently makes $83,181 as Waluga's vice principal.