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Emily Hays Named Principal of Opstad Elementary School


We are very pleased to share that Emily Hays has been selected as the new principal of Opstad Elementary School (OES), beginning July 1, 2021.  Ms. Hays is a familiar face to Opstad students and families, having served as their assistant principal for the past two years. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this wonderful school. 


After Principal Greg Forrest accepted a position at a private school for next year, the District began a process to consider qualified internal candidates for this leadership role. Candidates interviewed with a team of staff and parents, followed by a second round of interviews today. At the conclusion of the process, Ms. Hays emerged as the best fit to lead our Opstad school community. She accepted the position this afternoon.


 Emily Hays

Emily Hays


“I feel very honored to be selected to serve as the principal of Opstad Elementary School. It is truly a privilege to continue to be part of a community where parents, teachers, and students care for each other, and strive to build positive relationships that support academic and social growth. I look forward to continuing to work together next school year, as we welcome our Otters back to school,” said Hays. 


After moving from Illinois in 2018, Hays taught as a Literacy Language Specialist at Opstad and has since served as the assistant principal for both Opstad and Cascade View elementaries. Prior to that, she was an elementary Reading Interventionist (for 10 years) and a Special Education teacher (2 years) in Illinois. 


Hays is working on a Ph.D. in Education through Murray State University; has two Master of Education degrees from the University of Illinois in Educational Administration & Leadership and in Special Education; and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from Indiana University. 


“Opstad has experienced several leadership changes during the past few years and we were looking for someone who would provide stability and familiarity, along with strong leadership skills and clear student-centered focus,” said incoming Superintendent Dr. Lance Gibbon. “Emily Hays brings all of that, along with warmth, enthusiasm and genuine love for the school. I look forward to the wonderful things she will do at Opstad!”


In the next few weeks, we will share information about filling the Opstad and Cascade View assistant principal position.


Posted June 25, 2021