Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.
Longview Public Schools will enter the 2017-18 school y ear with several new administrators, plus existing staff in new positions. Our district is in a dynamic phase of transition, with some of our long-time staff finding new opportunities for growth – both within and outside the district. We have found highly qualified people to continue their work, and I am extremely pleased with the team we have in place for the next school year. A short biography of our new team members follows:
Tony VanderMaas will be the district’s new executive director of Leadership and Learning, taking the reins from Ken Hermanson, who accepted an elementary school principal post in Spokane. VanderMaas was principal at Ridgefield High School—and before becoming an educator was a nuclear engineer.
Jill Diehl will be the district’s first-ever director of Career and College Readiness, overseeing all vocational programs. She was most recently principal at Discovery High School and the district’s director of Career and Technical Education.
Ron Kramer assumed the role of director of Human Resources at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, taking on responsibilities that had been covered by Chris Fritsch, assistant superintendent of Business and Operations, who left to become superintendent of the Pendleton (Oregon) School District.
Elizabeth West will be the new director of Special Education, replacing Rod McHattie, who retired this spring after 29 years with the district. West, a Mark Morris graduate, is a former special education teacher who is a prolific author and former interim director of the Special Education program at the University of Washington.
Patti Bowen will be the district’s new business manager. Previously LPS’s budget analyst, Bowen will oversee the Accounting and Payroll departments, and will be responsible for budget development and financial management. This is a new position created after the departure of Chris Fritsch, assistant superintendent of Business and Operations.
Mike Kleiner is the new principal/drop-out prevention coordinator at Discovery High School, taking the place of Jill Diehl (see above). Kleiner was previously at Legacy High School, an alternative high school in the Evergreen School District, where he served as Alternative Learning Experiences coordinator and Re-engagement coordinator.
Lori Larson is the new principal at Robert Gray Elementary, replacing Kala Lougheed, who has accepted the position of elementary principal in Kalama. Larson was previously assistant principal at Mt. Solo Middle School.
Megan Shea, a Longview native, will be the new principal at St. Helens Elementary, taking the place of Nikki Reese, who has accepted the position of elementary principal at Wahkiakum School District. Shea previously served as an assistant elementary school principal in the Highline School District.
Trevor Person will be assistant principal and athletic director at R.A. Long High School, replacing Ty Morris, who retired after serving the students of the school for 36 years. Person previously taught and coached in the Evergreen School District.
Stephen Shepherd will be the new assistant principal at Mt. Solo Middle School, taking the place of Lori Larson (see above). Shepherd was previously the orchestra teacher at Mt. Solo.
We are excited about these new additions to our already excellent team and look forward to another great year in the Longview Public Schools.