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Petersen Elementary's 'interim' principal hired on permanent basis

Whitney Hessong will continue on at Scappoose school's helm


Whitney Hessong.Whitney Hessong, who was hired late last summer to take the reins at Otto Petersen Elementary School, was officially named the school's principal on a permanent basis Monday, Feb. 9.

Hessong was technically brought on in August for a one-year contract as Petersen Elementary's “interim administrator." The job was her first as a school administrator, although she previously worked as a student management specialist in the Gresham-Barlow School District.

At Monday's school board meeting, Hessong was hired as a full principal, to accolades from several board members.

“I think that is an excellent testament to the leadership that we put in place this last year … and I'm very excited with the entire crew that we have,” said Phil Lager. “I think we're continually being impressed with their abilities and what they're bringing to our district.”

Michelle Graham congratulated Hessong on her hiring.

“We couldn't be luckier to have you,” Graham told her.

Hessong said after the meeting that she is happy to be continuing on past this school year at Petersen Elementary.

“It's really exciting,” she said. “I'm really excited about it.”

Hessong has worked in five school districts, and she has been particularly impressed by the way the staff works together and serves students in the Scappoose School District, as well as with her families and students, she said.

“I'm very lucky to have this job,” said Hessong. “I'm very lucky to be able to work with the people that I work with.”

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