Featured Stories

New principal named for Lewis and Clark Elementary for next school year

Dustin Salisbury, current vice principal, will transition into role as Principal Cathy Carson readies to retire after 11 years at school

SalisburyLewis and Clark Elementary School announced this week that the current vice principal will take over for the 2016-17 school after the retirement of the school’s current long-time principal.

Dustin Salisbury, vice principal of Lewis and Clark, will fill the role being vacated by Cathy Carson, who announced her retirement in November after working at the school for more than 11 years.

For the past four years, Carson and Salisbury have been working side by side. Both administrators explained that together they make a good team, playing off each other’s strengths and experiences.

“I have really enjoyed working with Cathy these past four years. She has a lot of wisdom and I have appreciated the opportunity to glean this wisdom from her,” Salisbury wrote in an email. “I think we make a great team and I am sad for us, but happy for her.”

Carson joined the St. Helens School District in 2005 when she was hired as an assistant principal at the elementary school. After two years, she took over as principal. Prior to that, Carson worked as a school counselor in the Hillsboro School District as a K-8 physical education teacher and middle school health teacher.

In her more than 30 years in education, Carson said she has enjoyed different aspects of working with students, other teachers, school staff and families. As an educator, the most rewarding aspect of teaching is seeing how students grow in the school year, she said.

“Well, it’s certainly academic growth of children, and that sounds like kind of a trite saying, but it’s truly the joy of teaching when you see, like we are at this time of year, how much growth the children have made and it makes it all worth it,” Carson said.

As an administrator, Carson said she has also enjoyed interacting with families and getting to know the St. Helens community.

“I’m grateful to the community and the school boards that I’ve served under for giving me the opportunity,” Carson said.

Handing the reins over in July, Carson said she’s confident Salisbury will do well in his new role and it will be an easy transition for him. When asked for words of wisdom for Sailsbusy, Carson said: “My number one piece of advice for Dustin is to follow his heart.”

Salisbury, who has been vice principal at Lewis and Clark for four years, has had previous experience in education as a teacher in Longview, Wash., Rainier and the Grand Cayman Islands, and as a principal in the Ocean Beach School District and a school Idaho.

“I know it sounds cliché, but I love working with kids and helping them achieve their potential! Being an educator is an incredibly rewarding career because you have an amazing opportunity and responsibility to make the world a better place!,” Salisbury stated in an email Wednesday.

Born in Longview, Wash., and raised in Rainier, Salisbury considers himself a “local boy and native Oregonian,” according to his biography on the Lewis and Clark website. Salisbury and his wife, Sandy, have two children in fourth- and sixth-grade at Lewis and Clark, a press release from the school district reported. Salisbury added that it’s been a blessing to be able to see his children while he is at work.

“My kids say they are really excited about my new position, but they won’t really see a difference in my work,” Salisbusy said. “I love that I can pop into their classrooms, lunch time, recesses, music programs, PE, or just give them a hug in the hallway.”

The St. Helens School District board of directors unanimously approved Salisbury’s promotion, Wednesday night, May 25, during the board’s regular meeting. Council president Gordon Jarman was absent.