by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Cris Gwilliam, left, will succeed incoming principal BG Aguirre, right, as assistant principal of St. Helens High School.Less than a month after the assistant principal of St. Helens High School was elevated to the school’s top office, the St. Helens School Board has named her successor.

Cris Gwilliam will fill the role BG Aguirre, the incoming principal, is vacating at St. Helens High.

Gwilliam comes to St. Helens from the Forest Grove School District, where he has been an educator for 11 years.

“I’ve taught science, physical education and health, all at the middle school level,” Gwilliam said. “Along with that teaching experience, I was also middle school athletic director. I was dean of students and an administrative substitute, so when a principal or assistant principal was out of the building for professional development or something like that, I would take on the role of substituting for them.”

Gwilliam suggested he hopes to be a principal himself someday.

“I had been looking for an opportunity to lead a school, and obviously, assistant principal is the first step in that process,” said Gwilliam, explaining his decision to apply for the job in St. Helens.

While Gwilliam will be moving into the assistant principal position previously occupied by Aguirre, the newly minted principal said she will look to shuffle the responsibilities he and Bruce Carvalho, the school’s other assistant principal, will shoulder.

“We’re going to look at our skill set and then kind of divide things,” said Aguirre. “Already, I can tell that we’re going to work very well together ... and I’m excited for our new team.”

“And I love the fact that I’m filling a role that she had previously, because then I just have a teacher,” Gwilliam added.

Gwilliam said he will spend the summer learning the ropes at St. Helens High and meeting staff and community members.

“We’re just excited for next school year,” said Aguirre. “Lots of work cut out for us, but we can handle it.”

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