An award-winning educator from Olympia, Washington, may soon be joining the administrative staffs at Central Elementary School and La Grande Middle School.

The La Grande School District has announced that Monica West, the principal of McLane Elementary School in the Olympia School District in Washington, has been selected to become the new half-time Central Elementary School assistant principal and half-time LMS assistant principal. George Mendoza, superintendent of the La Grande School District, will recommend that the school board vote to hire West when it meets June 12.

West has been chosen to take the two half-time assistant principal positions currently held by Chris Wagner, who is scheduled to become LMS’s new full-time assistant principal in 2019-20. Wagner will succeed Brett Jackman, who will be leaving to take a position with the Nyssa School District.

West has worked for the Olympia School District for 25 years. She has been an elementary school principal the past seven years and prior to that was an assistant middle school principal.

McLane Elementary School, which has about 300 students, has received a number of awards during West’s tenure as principal. They include the 2018 Center for Education Effectiveness’ “School of Distinction Award,” which recognizes continuous growth in English language arts and math over a five-year period. In 2016, McLane Elementary School received the “Washington Achievement Award” for closing the achievement gap for students with disabilities.

Individual awards West has won include the Olympia School District’s 2017 “Unsung Hero” award.

“I am very pleased to welcome Mrs. West to the administrative team. Not only does she bring very relevant experience, but also a genuine desire to serve the La Grande students and families,” Mendoza said in a news release.

West has a bachelor of science degree from College of Idaho and a master’s in educational leadership from Portland State University. She received her administrative credentials from Seattle Pacific University, according to ThurstonTalk, a website that covers the news of Thurston County Washington, which the Olympia School District is in.

She earlier taught high school level math and science for five years and middle school level math and science for 11 years in the Olympia School District.

West’s administrative-level experience includes times as assistant principal and dean of students at Jefferson Middle School. Another title West has held in the school district is director of its Learning Assistance Program.

Pending board approval, West will begin her new job July 1.

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