Meet the new administration

Meet+the+new+administration

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By Eddie Bednarek and Tor Gullholm

Tigard High School has an almost completely new administration, bringing new points of view and a fresh drive to work this year. There are two new Associate Principals and a Dean of Students. Along with these additions, our former Associate Principal, Mr. Andrew Van Fleet, has taken Mr. Mark Neffendorf’s position as Head Principal.

Associate Principal Ms. Amber Fields is an energetic new addition to the staff, and gets straight to the issues that she finds important. “I still think there’s work around connectedness as far as students of color. Really digging into the ‘Why?’ Why are folks chronically absent? Why? Those that come, and aren’t successful, why?” said Ms. Fields.

She uses what is called “Root Cause Analysis”, meaning that whenever she sees an issue at school, for example, a chronically absent student, she asks herself, “Why is this happening?”

Ms. Fields is against making goals in a technical sense. “I’m more about never being complacent. This is a job where you constantly have to say ‘Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?’ and you have to ask that question all the time,” said Ms. Fields. Her door is always open; she loves talking to people and solving problems.

The second Associate Principal added to the administrative team this year is Mrs. Angelita Miller. “I’m excited about the learning potential for T.H.S. students. I’m excited about having a positive year for students and staff. I’m excited about T.H.S. students setting and achieving goals in academics, athletics, activities and the arts,” said Mrs. Miller. She will be digging deep into the culture of the school to fix all sorts of problems, especially when it comes to underrepresented groups of students.

“I’m proud to represent and be an advocate for traditionally underrepresented students at T.H.S.,” said Mrs. Miller. She hopes to create an environment that allows not only every student, but also every single person in the building to succeed.

A role historically filled by the Associate Principal, the management and discipline of students is now the responsibility of Tigard High School’s Dean of Students, Mr. Thomas Sepulveda. Since Mr. Sepulveda’s job is new, it is fluid. “A dean is mainly in charge of what is low level discipline; there is a whole lot of things that come into to play with that,” said Mr. Sepulveda.

“My job here is to create a place where students feel safe, welcome, wanted, and I build relationships,” he continued. Mr. Sepulveda said his door is always open. “If you wanna come and vent or you wanna blow off some steam or if you wanna say ‘hi’, my door is open.”

Once the former Associate Principal of T.H.S., Mr. Van Fleet has a position that allows him to perceive the differences between managing a school and helping someone manage a school. “I think the culture here in our building has been extremely positive,” said Mr. Van Fleet.

“I think every school across the nation right now sees an achievement gap with some of our specific demographics within our school, so I want to close all our achievement gaps, attendance gaps, behavior gaps….I don’t want any one population being over identified or over referred than any other population.”

As a final comment Mr. Van Fleet said, “I truly do feel like I’m working with the best educators in the state of Oregon, along with the best kids in the state of Oregon.”

The new era of Tigard High School administrators is working hard to make the school a better place. Every single one of them is driven, committed, and striving to create an environment of kindness, equality, and respect.