By Lynn Leissler
For the Independent
Some older readers will recall their fear at a teacher’s dreaded words, “Go to the principal’s office.” The male version wore a suit and tie, while a woman might (though not always) be older, unmarried and dressed in stern garb. Whether male or female, the person served as head disciplinarian. Times have changed, however. Today’s students can observe their principal roaming the halls and wearing a smile. He also might shave his head and she might perform a wacky dance to espouse a cause.
In former days, too, the principal’s tenure could span two generations. Now, principals are more likely to change schools, as is the case with several D9 administrators. The district is also bringing in a couple of new hires for the 2013-14 school year.
Paul Cataldo will settle into the principal’s office at EPHS this fall. He isn’t new to the district, having started his career in Eagle Point about 30 years ago as a teacher and counselor. Since then he’s been either the principal or assistant principal at McLoughlin Middle School, Hedrick Middle School and South Medford High School in Medford, and most recently the principal at White Mountain Middle School.
Valerie Cordle prepares to join Cataldo as an assistant principal at EPHS. She taught at Mountain View Elementary and was principal there for most of last year. Cordle has also been an instructional coach.
Kennia Munroe steps into the principal’s role at Shady Cove, the school bearing the proud distinction of a “Model School,” where she was an instructional coach. The Shady Cove educational community has enjoyed Munroe’s skills and leadership for 23 years.
Karina Chevez Rizo comes to the Mountain View Elementary principal position following a decade at Jackson Elementary in Medford, where she taught and filled the position of acting principal. Her bilingual and bicultural Latino skills will be a great asset to Mountain View.
Tim Rupp relocates to White Mountain Middle School to be its principal. While he was an assistant principal, then principal at EPHS, the high school received its first “Outstanding” rating from the Oregon Department of Education.
Were the district issuing awards for the administrator who traveled the farthest to claim the job, Jennifer Whitehead would win. Last year she was a building principal in New Zealand; this year she will be principal at Hillside Elementary. Whitehead has taught at elementary and college levels, and worked in administrative roles in New Mexico and New Zealand.
Brian Woods will continue to be the district’s athletic director, while adding the position of principal for D9 Online, the district’s new K-12 online school.
As the new administrators head to the principal’s office, the district expresses enthusiasm for great things ahead under their leadership. And hopefully not too many students will end up there other than for a friendly chat.