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Stillwater’s Amy Wright is new Opstad principal

Amy Wright is the new principal at Opstad Elementary - Courtesy photo
Amy Wright is the new principal at Opstad Elementary
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Opstad Elementary School’s newly hired principal will be coming home when she assumes her new role July 1.

Amy Wright, principal at Stillwater Elementary School near Carnation, grew up in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, and looks forward to returning to it.

“The idea of being able to work in a place that is home to me both personally and professionally, that was really appealing,” she said.

Wright, who lives in Fall City, was approved as Opstad’s new principal at the May 10 Snoqualmie Valley School Board meeting. She was chosen from about 40 applicants for the position, but few could match the local connection she had.

“I grew up in North Bend, went to North Bend Elementary School… graduated from Mount Si High School,” Wright said. She then attended Seattle Pacific University for a teaching degree, and got her first teaching job at Fall City Elementary School, in 1990, teaching first grade. After 15 years at FCES, Wright wanted to pursue a principalship, and served a year-long principal internship at the just-opened Cascade View Elementary School.

She was hired as Stillwater Elementary’s principal (“This is year six,” she said), and loved her job and the community. However, when John Jester announced his plans to retire as Opstad’s principal, Wright knew she had to apply for the position.

“The opportunity was just too good to pass up,” she said.

Especially appealing about this opportunity, Wright said, were the similarities in the two schools. Both opened in the same year, she said, and both schools have many staff members who’ve been there since the schools started.

“Opstad is a little bit bigger than Stillwater,” Wright said, adding “our demographics are very similar…the socioeconomic factors are very similar between the two schools.”

Because Snoqualmie Valley is larger than her current Riverview School District, Wright sees greater opportunities for herself here, too, in terms of collaboration and personal growth.

She holds a superintendent’s credential, too, but isn’t aspiring to such a role any time soon.

“I’m not ready to leave the day-to-day runnings of a school,” she said. “I love the connection to the students and the teachers on a daily basis.”

Wright has already begun discussing with Jester how to maintain the strong learning tradition that Jester is credited with creating, and how to make the transition between school administrators as smooth as possible.

“The part of North Bend where Opstad is, I will really need to take some time to get to know that community… to see what the priorities are for those parents,” she said. She also wants to create a good working relationship with Twin Falls Middle School, the school her students will attend after they leave Opstad.

Wright intends to give her full support to the district’s plan to annex Snoqualmie Middle School in 2013, as well, saying “It’s going to take support from everyone in the community and all of the schools.”

Superintendent Joel Aune introduced Wright to the school board after they approved her appointment.

“We are excited that Amy has accepted the job offer, and look forward to the energy, passion, and vision that she will bring to Opstad Elementary.  She is bright, well-read, possesses a deep understanding of teaching and learning, and has performed in exemplary fashion in her role as principal at Stillwater Elementary during the past six years,” said Aune.

Opstad Elementary is planning to host events to introduce Wright to the community, and to honor Jester on his retirement, some time in June.

 

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