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School district shuffles around administrators

NHS hires new assistant principal, Karen Pugsley moves from NHS to CVMS, Luthra leaving Edwards


With Newberg High School set to transition to a new leadership structure under incoming principal Mark Risen, changes were already afoot, but the school’s roster of administrators will be almost completely new for the 2014-2015 school year after the announcement that Green School principal Karen Pugsley has been named principal at Chehalem Valley Middle School.

With the resignation of Silver School principal Eric Bergmann and the promotion of Yellow School principal Stafford Boyd to district director of secondary teaching and learning, Blue School principal Dan Malone will be the only current administrator to return in the fall. Pugsley

The district also an­nounced June 10 that it has hired South Salem High School teacher and instructional leader Alaina San­tana to be one of Risen’s assistant principals, but now has one more vacancy to fill with the departure of Pugsley. Both Pugsley and Santana will begin their new positions July 1.

Sup­er­intendent Kym LeBlanc-Esparza described Pugsley as a highly collaborative leader whose decision-making is centered on what’s best for kids.  

“She is the right choice to build on the great work in place and lead the staff and students at this school,” LeBlanc-Esparza said.

For Pugsley, the move is an opportunity to return to her roots.

“My first teaching job was at the middle level and I appreciate the energy, critical thinking and independence of middle school students,” she said. “I have a unique perspective after 22 years at the high school level and hope to spark a sustained conversation about the power of our middle schools to prepare students for life after high school.”Santana

Pugsley was first hired by the district as a talented and gifted (TAG) specialist in 1992. She has coordinated the district TAG program, directed the Newberg Community Learning Cen­ter and spent four years coordinating the high school’s transition to small schools, leading Green School since it’s inception in 2007.

A graduate of Willamette University, Pugsley earned a bachelor’s degree in history and English literature. She also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lewis and Clark College.

Pugsley earned na­tional recognition from the U.S. De­part­ment of Edu­cation as a Goals 2000 Teacher as Researcher and was named a Berglund Institute Fellow by Pacific University. Pugsley has also been honored as the district’s Secondary Teacher of the Year and is a member of Newberg’s first Ford Institute Leadership Program.

“I am looking forward to getting to know staff, students and parents over the next few months and to continuing the wonderful work this learning community has em­barked upon,” she said. “It’s an exciting time at Chehalem Valley and I feel honored to be part of the next phase of this school’s story.”

Risen participated in the selection of Santana, who teaches English, international baccalaureate and English language development classes at South Salem High School. She also serves as a mentor teacher, member of the school data and common core state standards planning teams.

“(Santana) is an articulate, intelligent, values-based leader that brings a genuine enthusiasm for kids and education,” Risen said. “As a leader in the English department and school site council chairperson, (she) brings strong leadership to instruction, English language development and support for a broad range of high school students.”

Santana earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in education from Corbin University. Santana also attended law school at Willamette University and worked as a law intern at the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Pendleton.

“(Santana) brings great energy, strong instructional skills and a strong reputation for being student-centered,” LeBlanc-Esparza said. “(Risen) is building a team that will be making the best decisions in the interest of kids.”

In addition to searching for a second assistant principal, the district is also looking for a new principal for Edwards Elementary, as Sue Luthra has left for a similar position in the Salem-Keizer district.



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