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Centennial teacher hired at Cedar Ridge

Nicole Johnston has been hired as the new Cedar Ridge Principal

Centennial High language arts teacher Nicole Johnston has been hired as the new principal at Cedar Ridge Middle School.

Johnston will take over the position from Matt Newel, who is moving up to a job at Sandy High School. Her position will be effective July 1. Her first official day on the job will be July 31.

As a former student of the Oregon Trail School District, Johnston grew up in Sandy, attending both Cedar Ridge and Sandy High, and she has an advantage in getting to know the school’s community. Her parents even met while attending Sandy High School.

Johnston earned her teaching degree from Concordia University and did her student teaching at Cedar Ridge while earning her degree. She has been teaching at Centennial High School for the past eight years.

During her time at Centennial, Johnston gained the necessary experience to be an administrator through being a Professional Learning Communities team leader and substitute administrator.

“I am absolutely ready to move into full-time administrative roles,” she said. “As far as transitioning, I am fortunate to have experienced a range of leadership and administrative roles over the last few years.”

“Nicole easily stands out as one of the most valuable, productive, reliable and supportive members of my staff,” said Centennial High Principal Kevin Ricker. “She possesses all the attributes of an excellent administrator, and has the drive and ability to lead a staff and school.”

Johnston said that returning to Cedar Ridge is both surreal and exciting. The eighth-grade banquet photos from her time at Cedar Ridge, her father’s time and her grandfather’s time there are still displayed at the school.

“Sandy is a wonderful place to grow up,” said Johnston, who is now raising her own kids in the city. “As a mother, there is nothing more important than providing children with the best, most positive experiences, which Sandy can absolutely provide.”

Superintendent Aaron Bayer said he looks forward to working with Johnston.

“Her energy and desire to grow school climate and culture is obvious,” he said.

“I love working with students, and I thrive on finding creative ways to help them grow academically and as human beings in this great big world,” Johnston said. “That is every educator’s greatest challenge.”

A meet and greet for parents and the community to speak with Johnston will be held in August.