Five-year tenure in LO includes stints as LOJHS vice principal, Lakeridge High assistant principal

Robert Caplinger will take over as principal of Lake Oswego Junior High School following the retirement of Ann Gerson this July, the Lake Oswego School District announced last week.

Currently assistant principal at Lakeridge High School, Caplinger has been with the district since 2005, serving as vice principal of LOJHS from 2005 to 2010 before moving to Lakeridge.Robert Caplinger

“I never aspired to work at a high school,” Caplinger said. “I accepted that position because it would be a good experience to see where (students) go after high school. It’s proved to be extremely valuable.”

Caplinger previously taught eighth-grade language arts and social studies at schools in Orange County, Calif. He is on track to receive in June his doctorate of education from University of Oregon, where his research has focused on the use and structure of classroom time in middle school and its effect on learning.

“Robert’s track record of experience and highly effective leadership as a secondary school administrator makes him the ideal choice for principal of Lake Oswego Junior High School,” said LOSD Superintendent Bill Korach. “He is respected by colleagues, students, and parents, and his strong ties to LOJHS will provide for ease of transition in one of the key leadership roles in the district.”

This administrative change will create an opening for an assistant principal at Lakeridge High School beginning in 2013-14; Lake Oswego High School will also have an assistant principal vacancy, as current LOHS Assistant Principal Cindy Schubert prepares to take over for Principal Bruce Plato at the end of the school year.

Caplinger is looking forward to the new arrangement.

“Cindy ... and I work together very well, so it’s going to be exciting to create a six-through-12 experience on the north side together,” Caplinger said. “We talk every day, and we help each other.

The district will be forming selection committees composed of teachers, parents and administrators to select a new assistant principal for each school.”

“Both assistant principal jobs are opening up at the same time, which is pretty unique,” Caplinger said. “Overseeing the academic program of a high school is huge. It’s going to take someone who knows administration.”

Caplinger expects to have his work cut out for him at LOJHS, where implementing the new Common Core State Standards and dealing with a new schedule will inevitably pose a challenge.

But, he said, he will do everything he can to meet those challenges head-on.

“The first thing I’m going to do is meet with teachers and spend time reconnecting with them, the facts that I know. It’s kind of like coming home; it’s neat to have a homecoming type of experience, to sit down and meet with them and see where they’d like to lead things,” he said. “How they’ve done things, and how we’re going to do things ... might be different, and that’s exciting to me to have those conversations.”

Above all, “I just want to put my heart and soul into (LOJHS), and I’m going to, because I’m going to have all that time to do that,” he said. “I’m so excited.”

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