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Community members get an inside look at area schools as part of Principal for a Day event

Posted Date: 11/13/23 (7:30 PM)

Matt Newell (center) and Jolie Phanton (right) help a student at Firwood Elementary.As one of eight community members who took part in the Principal for a Day event on Monday, Nov. 13, Sandy High School graduate Dominick De Landro got a chance to see all of what the new high school building had to offer, including programs such as robotics, drones and more.
“It was pretty incredible,” said De Landro, who now works for Dick Hannah in Sandy. “It’s amazing all the new opportunities these students have.”
The event, sponsored by the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce and the Oregon Trail School District, paired up each community member with a principal at one of the district’s schools for a morning. During their time, they got an inside look at the daily life of students, teachers and staff, from what happens in the classroom to how schools function.
“It was really great to see just how much they’re focusing on the foundation; targeting to get kids on the right track and start out right,” said Darren Wegener of Wegener Travel and Cruise, who spent his morning at Sandy Grade School.
Brian York of Clackamas County Bank had the chance to visit Cedar Ridge Middle School, noting he enjoyed seeing historical connections at the building to the old Sandy High School, while adding that he was impressed by Principal Nicole Johnston and her open-door policy for students to visit her office.
“There were so many students that popped in and said, ‘hello,’” he said. “She has a lot of passion behind the job she has.”
Paula Siverly of Possibility Squad Powered by Advantage Mortgage noted the upgraded security features at the Welches School from years ago when she had a child there.
“It was pretty exciting to see it evolving,” she said.
After spending the morning in the various schools, participants got to share their experiences over lunch together and learn more about the district from Superintendent Aaron Bayer. Bayer noted how the district has continued to improve through the years, including the creation of Professional Learning Communities that foster dialogue and collaboration among teachers and across grade levels in the district.
“We take advantage of all the technology that has been availed to us to make learning better for teachers and kids,” he said.