New Principals Announced
New School Principals Have the Skills and Commitment to Lift Students Above the Tide
School principals do much more than manage a school. They are the linchpin for establishing a schoolwide vision and commitment to high standards leading to the success of all students. With the selection of two new principals for the 2019-2020 school year, North Beach School District welcomes leaders who have demonstrated just such a commitment to all kids.
Russell Evans will serve as principal of North Beach Junior/Senior High and Marlene Perez will do the same at Pacific Beach Elementary, following approval of their hiring at the April and May regular meetings. Their biographies follow.
Texas native Russell Evans, the new principal of North Beach Junior/Senior High School for the 2019-2020 school year, brings twelve years of experience as a transformational educator to the position. He has taught at the junior high, high school and university level and, most recently, served as the assistant principal at a 2,200-student secondary campus, Tomball High School in southeast Texas, where he was tasked with finding solutions to a wide range of challenges.
“My goals to support the campus improvement plan have ranged from refining perceptions of our campus from external stakeholders, improving overall campus climate among teachers, building relationships with both staff and students, supporting the newly installed professional learning community process, overseeing our web/social media expansion presence for our campus, and developing our students' social-emotional learning competencies through character education,” he explains.
Evans completed a rigorous multi-step application and interview process before being offered the North Beach position. “Russell’s accomplishments and experience made him the standout candidate for the role as the NBJR/HS principal,” Superintendent Andrew Kelly notes.
“To a person, the hiring committee expressed confidence that he has the expertise and student-centered philosophy that will build a strong educational program for our secondary students.”
Superintendent Kelly says he was thrilled to see Evan’s ability to connect with kids and adults when he spent two days on campus during the interview process. "Russell understands that the key to education is relationship-building with staff and students alike. I’m eager to support him in leading the transformation of our junior and senior high school,” Kelly shares.
“By focusing on growing the whole student, building on the successes from the 2018-2019 school year, and increasing community involvement with the school, I believe that North Beach Jr/Sr High School can become THE premier high school in the state of Washington,” Evans asserts.
Evans holds a master’s degree in education and is currently in the final steps of finishing an education doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction through Texas A&M University. He is excited to bring his family of four to Washington state. Moving from Texas with Evans are his wife, Stephanie (who is also an educator), and their three children, Zachary, Victoria and Logan.
“We are truly excited to join the vibrant communities of Ocean Shores and Pacific Beach,” Evans says. He encourages students, parents and community members to stop by the school and say hello.
As a native Spanish speaker and first-generation college graduate, Marlene Perez’s passion for advocating for equity, access, and high academic standards infuses her work as a public-school educator. “My entire career has been focused on supporting ALL kids and working strategically to fill the academic gaps that, at times, prevent some students from attaining grade-level proficiency,” Ms. Perez explains.
In 2019-2020, Ms. Perez will step into the leadership position at Pacific Beach Elementary created by Lynnette Reime’s retirement. She is currently completing her administrative internship at Pacific Beach in addition to serving as the Title / LAP/ HiCap Specialist for the school. Ms. Perez’s work extended to the district level this past year, as well, where she has served as the Bilingual Coordinator.
A strong collaborator, Perez not only works to improve her own skills and knowledge, she is dedicated to helping her colleagues to be better teachers. Last year, she helped lead professional learning communities with other teachers, and facilitated the district’s BEST (Beginning Educator Support Team) Grant meetings.
“My life’s goal is to serve students, families, community and my colleagues to ensure that equitable inputs in the lives of children allow for equality in an outcome to prepare them for life, college, the world of work and our democracy,” she says.
Ms. Perez wants staff to feel as if they are a part of a family that loves and accepts everyone. “I have the great advantage of the legacy Mrs. Reime has left us. Her heart will always be part of Pacific Beach. As Mrs. Reime says, ‘Pacific Beach is the best-kept secret.’”
“I will care and nurture the culture that has already been established, helping it to grow as we move our school to be the best it can be,” Ms. Perez adds.
Perez is married to fellow North Beach educator Andy Kelly. They have a blended family that includes four students enrolled in North Beach; Monique (15) and Hector (10), as well as Ezekiel and Josiah (16). Ms. Perez’s unanimous recommendation by the Pacific Beach hiring team is not a surprise to Superintendent Kelly. “I’ve been blessed over the past three years to watch Marlene build relationships with all kids, even the tough ones,” Kelly says. “She never gives up on kids and has a track record of accelerating students who are academically behind, so they can grow to meet and exceed grade level standards. I’m thrilled to have her continue her work as the lead learner at Pacific Beach.”
In addition to gaining her administrative credentials this year, Ms. Perez has pursued professional development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, Lego robotics, and English language acquisition and literacy.
As a mother, educator and now an elementary principal, Ms. Perez emphasizes she believes the teacher’s first role is to love students unconditionally and view them as if they were their own. “We want the best for own kids. Why should we settle for anything else for our students? I believe the role of the classroom teacher is to love our students unconditionally, and this will permeate to classroom instruction. Love can push us as human beings to go the extra mile; why not foster a culture of love in our classrooms?”