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Winlock hires new elementary school principal

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Centralia School District educator Boyd Calder has been hired at the new principal for Winlock Miller Elementary School.

The Winlock School District has hired a new elementary school principal after eliminating the position last year due to budget constraints.

During their May 21 meeting, the Winlock School Board confirmed the hiring of Boyd Calder to the position after what Superintendent Shannon Criss described as a “grueling” vetting process, including an open Q’n’A forum with staff members.

Currently a Centralia School District teacher working with at-risk students, Calder previously worked for Winlock as a language arts teacher and baseball coach between 1998 and 2001, and said the role of elementary school principal will be the first such administrative role he has held full-time, though he said he has helped assist administratively in the past.

One goal Calder said he already has in assuming the role of principal is to help improve the APOLO alternative learning program, which services teenagers but is located on the elementary school grounds. One challenge the board has said is facing APOLO is the negative stigma within the community of students in alternative programs, and Calder said he expects to reach out to residents on behalf of students to help show them what the program is about.

“I think it’s important to build relationships,” he said, stating it is his hope to set an example for students by being “a leader worth following.”

Calder is expected to begin his role as principal during the coming school year, and will take the responsibilities of the position off of Criss, who had been doubling as principal and superintendent after the position had been eliminated last spring.

When it came to filling the position, Criss said a lack of a full-time principal was placing a burden on other administrators, adding extra funding is now available to sustain the position due to fill-time compensation for kindergarten rather than part-time.

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