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Three Assistant Principals Hired to Support Elementaries

The District is pleased to announce the hiring of three assistant principals who will serve all five Snoqualmie Valley elementary schools, starting next year. The elementary schools will benefit from a half-time assistant principal, to complement the leadership currently provided by the principal at each school. We welcome and congratulate these new assistant principals:
  • Ryan Hill will serve Opstad Elementary School half-time.
  • Kaaren Kim will split her service between Cascade View Elementary and Fall City Elementary schools.
  • Stephanie Shepherd will support North Bend Elementary and Snoqualmie Elementary schools. 


Assistant Principals for our elementary schools
 Pictured left to right: Stephanie Shepherd, Ryan Hill and Kaaren Kim.


Ryan Hill has been an educator with Snoqualmie Valley schools as a high school science teacher since 2006, and as a Technology Integration Leader and Teacher Trainer for the district since 2009. This year, while completing his Principal Certification at Seattle Pacific University, he has also served as an Administrative Intern at Opstad Elementary in the fall, and is currently interning with Mount Si High School. Prior, Hill taught science in the Cle Elum School District for six years. He earned a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Central Washington University. Hill lives in North Bend.

Kaaren Kim (pronounced “CAR in”) is joining Snoqualmie Valley from the Kent School District, where she has been an Assistant Principal supporting East Hill Elementary and Crestwood Elementary schools since 2013. Prior to administrative roles, she taught English Language Learners (ELL) for K-6 grades for three years, and was a classroom teacher for Kindergarten, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades for nine years. Kim earned her Principal Certification in 2012 from Seattle University; earned a Master of Arts degree in Literacy Education from Lesley University; and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Washington State University. She lives in Covington.

Stephanie Shepherd is currently an Early Learning Facilitator in the Renton School District, providing leadership support in the development of the district early childhood programming for grades PreK-3. Last year, she worked at the Puget Sound Educational Services District in Renton as a PreK-3rd Grade Systems Coach. Prior, she worked with the Success for All Foundation for several years, as consultant and facilitator for school districts in Guam, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Nevada. Shepherd began her career teaching Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades in Pa’auilo, Hawaii. She earned a Master’s degree in Education Technology from the University of Hawaii, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada. Shepherd lives in North Bend, and will be completing her Principal Certification this spring.

As part of the District’s Strategic Plan, one of the key purposes of the new positions is to provide support for the Washington State Teacher/Principal Evaluation Project (known as TPEP) which was implemented statewide in 2013-14. The new evaluation system is designed to improve student learning through insuring quality instruction in every classroom. It is intended to be an instructional growth model, providing teachers with clear guidance on what they can do to improve their practices. As a result, principals are spending more time on evaluations to provide quality feedback to teachers.

In addition to teacher evaluations, the new assistant principal positions will be responsible to help strengthen the Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS) which all Snoqualmie Valley elementary schools use to support students and reinforce positive behaviors.

Currently at the elementary level, there is a single principal who is responsible for mentoring, supporting and evaluating all teachers plus instructional assistants at his/her school building. This is a significantly higher ratio than at the secondary levels (grades 6-12), which already have assistant principal support. Adding these half-time assistant principal positions at our elementary schools, will not only offer more support for grades PreK-5, but they will help balance and create more equity among our schools.

“Our District remains steadfastly committed to continuous improvement, in order to provide students with the best educational experience possible,” said Superintendent Joel Aune. “Supporting our teachers to ensure they receive training, feedback, and time for collaboration is essential to their professional growth and our success as a school district in providing students exposure to great teaching in every classroom. These assistant principals will help elementary principals to better support the teachers in their respective schools as we go about the work of getting all students fully prepared for college, careers, and citizenship.”

Aune added, “We were thrilled with the caliber of these candidates and the contributions they will make as we endeavor to provide an increased level of support to our elementary schools.”