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Lake Oswego's Westridge Elementary School has a new principal

Kari Montgomery will take over for Tin Kha on July 1

MONTGOMERYThe Lake Oswego School District announced Wednesday that an educator with 22 years of experience will take on the job of Westridge Elementary School principal this summer.

Kari "Kay" Montgomery — a literacy coach/reading specialist at Pleasant Valley Elementary School in the Centennial School District — will step into her new role on July 1. She replaces current Westridge Principal Tin Kha, who has announced that he is leaving to pursue other educational opportunities.

“It’s a wonderful school district, and I’m really excited to be a part of the community there," said Montgomery, a Camas, Wash., resident. She said she’s also looking forward to working with Westridge’s dedicated teachers in “an atmosphere of empowerment.”

Montgomery's accomplishments include helping to spearhead the creation of her school’s Title I program, which provides federal assistance to educational organizations with high numbers of low-income families. She also was instrumental in implementing professional learning communities and curriculum mapping at her school.

Montgomery — who grew up in Edmonton, Alberta — began her career teaching overseas for six months in Thailand. She then returned to her hometown and taught for six months at the Edmonton Young Offender Centre, which is designed for incarcerated youth between the ages of 12-18.

Montgomery then taught for two years in Colombia, where she met a man from Georgia whom she’d later marry. The couple moved to the Northwest to be closer to her family in Canada, Montgomery said.

While going through the immigration process in Georgia, she taught a GED program at a women’s prison.

“Let’s just say I’ve got a big tool kit for how to support kiddos who are having a hard time,” said Montgomery, a 45-year-old mother of three kids, ages 11, 13 and 15. “There’s probably not a lot I haven’t seen.”

Montgomery earned a bachelor’s in education from the University of Alberta and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University-Portland. She was chosen to lead Westridge by a committee of teachers, classified staff, parents and administrators, and says she's not anxious about her first role as the leader of a school.

“I’m excited about it,” Montgomery said. “I’m ready, and I know how to ask the right questions. I’m not nervous. I’m thoughtful and deliberate. I will make sure I know what resources I need to access.”

Contact Jillian Daley at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..