Schiele to take the reins as principal
by: , Jennifer Schiele

Lakeridge High School assistant principal Jennifer Schiele will become the new principal of Waluga Junior High School starting July 1.

The announcement follows recent district news that current Waluga principal Steve Sherrell is retiring in June after 31 years with the district.

Schiele joined the district as a counselor at Waluga in 2003. One year later, she was promoted to the vice principal position.

She moved to the assistant principal position at Lakeridge when Mike Lehman became the school's principal in 2005.

Superintendent Bill Korach said the experience makes Shiele the ideal candidate for the principal of Waluga.

'Given her past tenure at Waluga, her existing relationships with staff and families, and her proven experience, I am confident that she will provide exceptional leadership for the Waluga school community,' Korach said.

Prior to coming to Lake Oswego, Schiele worked as a teacher and counselor in Missouri and Kansas. She is a native of Minnesota and lives in West Linn with husband Scott and children Flynn, 5, and Brooklyn, 1.

According to district personnel, Shiele is known for her high-energy work ethic, building strong relationships with staff and parents and exceptional organization, follow-through and attention to detail.

'I'm very impressed with her strong communication skills, her ability to articulate what matters most and her commitment to doing whatever it takes to help each and every student succeed,' Lehman said.

At Lakeridge, her role is to focus on curriculum, from special education to the Talented and Gifted program, as well as working with counseling and teachers' professional development.

'I think success is based on relationships and I think I've done a really good job with students here,' Schiele said.

Leaving will be difficult in some ways, she said. The Lakeridge seniors set to graduate this June have 'followed' Schiele from her time at Waluga through today. She plans to come back for their commencement ceremony.

'A lot of those kids I spent a lot of time with,' she said. 'I think for that class it's especially hard … other classes are wishing me well.'

Schiele looks forward to her return to Waluga, where she plans to get to reconnect with old colleagues and get to know staff, students and parents.

Her primary focus will be building relationships and helping students to feel comfortable among their peers. While at Waluga, Schiele coined the slogan 'Everyone Fits at Waluga' to communicate a sincere welcome.

'When this opportunity showed itself, I was really excited about rekindling those relationships and working with that age group,' Shiele said. 'I really did enjoy the high school … but the energy level of the kids down there is really second to none. I find it exciting and challenging.'

Schiele, who considers herself a team player, looks forward to working with vice principal John Parke, who came to Waluga from Lake Oswego High School this year.

'He adds a lot of strength to an administrative team and I think we'll be a good fit,' she said.

Lehman said she would do an excellent job as principal at Waluga. He plans to work with Schiele to make sure students get a great Waluga-to-Lakeridge experience.

'I know because of her move that we won't be working as closely as we do, but it's the right thing for the community,' he said.

According to the district, Schiele's salary will start at $96,591 per year.

The district will begin searching for a new assistant principal at Lakeridge. The salary range for the job is $94,295 to $99,963.

The district prefers candidates with previous experience in teacher leadership or an administrative role, but that experience is not required.

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