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Schlag, Garcia-Contreras join staffs at Joseph Gale, NAMS

SchlagTwo new administrators have joined the Forest Grove School District for the 2014-15 academic year.

Joseph Gale Elementary School’s new principal is a veteran teacher who most recently served as assistant principal of the Dual Immersion School in Portland.

Gretchen Schlag succeeds Melissa Carter, who was named the district’s literacy coordinator earlier this summer.

Schlag, who holds a doctorate in education from Walden University in Minnesota, started her career as an elementary teacher with Portland Public Schools. She also spent five years as an intervention specialist with the Beaverton School District. She was assistant principal at the Dual Immersion School in Portland for the past year.

Superintendent Yvonne Curtis said Schlag’s skill as an instructional leader will be an asset for Joseph Gale.

“She comes to us with proven skill in building relationships and a strong sense of community while improving student learning outcomes,” said Curtis.

Schlag said she’s looking forward to meeting the families, students and staff at Joseph Gale .

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work in the community that I live in,” she said, “and create relationships as we work together to continue to move Joseph Gale forward.”

Neil Armstrong Middle School looked within its own staff to pick its new assistant principal.

Osvaldo Garcia-Contreras, a veteran math teacher, will replace Pete Moshinsky, who was selected as the new principal at Harvey Clarke Elementary School. Garcia-Contreras

Garcia-Contreras has taught math at Neil Armstrong for the past seven years and has also served as principal of the Summer Skills Academy, a summer school program for students in the district’s migrant and English Language Learners program.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Havana in Cuba and later his master’s in nuclear safety. After moving to the United States, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Portland State University and completed coursework for his doctorate in educational leadership.

He taught math and physics at the University of Havana before becoming a math teacher at Franklin High School in Portland for six years. He has taught math at Neil Armstrong since 2007.

Principal Brandon Hundley said Garcia-Contreras is well-prepared to step into a leadership role at the school.

“His belief in all kids and the understanding of what it takes to help students succeed will be beneficial to our program,” Hundley said, “and to the continued work we must do to reach the levels of achievement we expect.”

Garcia-Contreras said he is looking forward to his new role.

“I could not be more proud and excited to join a team of dedicated professionals who are seriously committed to transforming the school into a model of academic excellence,” he said.

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