Being a principal is not a solitary job.
In contrast to some of the movies and books which portray them as grouchy curmudgeons who bark orders from the safety of their offices, most principals will be quick to tell you that the opposite is true.
“I definitely share credit for any of our school’s achievements or awards,” said Steve Marshall, principal of Camas High School.
Added Aaron Parman, principal at Helen Baller Elementary, “I am a small piece in a bigger team that does amazing work to support students so they can be successful academically, behaviorally and socially.”
Both Parman, 43, and Marshall, 45, were recently honored as Principal of the Year. Parman has been named ESD 112 Principal of the Year and Marshall was honored with Greater St. Helens 3A/4A League Principal of the Year.
CHS has been named one of America’s Best High Schools in U.S. News & World Report several times in the past eight years. Helen Baller has been named a state school of distinction on multiple occasions.
Both principals emphasize that it takes a whole building to educate students, not just administrators.
“Honestly, my first reaction was: I wish this was not an individual honor,” Marshall said. “Being a building leader is not a solitary job. I have a great support system, so it feels uncomfortable to get singled out when our school board and district office, and the CHS staff deserve recognition too. They all assist me in different ways.”
Added Parman, “We definitely wouldn’t have the success we have at Helen Baller without terrific staff members, students and families. I am lucky to also work with a supportive School Board, superintendent and assistant superintendent.”
Parman has served as principal at Helen Baller for six years. Previously, he worked in the Evergreen School District for 14 years as a teacher and instructional coach.
Marshall has been leading the Papermakers since 2008. Prior to coming to CHS, he taught middle and high school students, and served as associate principal and athletic director at Mountain View High School.
Both men were honored at a recent School Board meeting with a certificate and award.
“We have a tradition in Camas of valuing our education,” said board member Doug Quinn. “As a result, many high quality educators choose to be part of our community and go on to do great things educating children. Being a principal is an incredibly challenging and rewarding job. Aaron and Steve give their lives over to their professions and it shows in our students. This is deserved recognition of two amazing men that we’re fortunate to have leading our schools.”
Jeff Snell, assistant superintendent, noted that the job of principal can sometimes seem like a never-ending one.
“Aaron and Steve are both lifelong learners, always looking to grow and support others,” he said. “They are tireless advocates for students and families. There’s always a student or family in need and there’s never a shortage of activities to attend and support. We are very fortunate to have strong principal leadership in Camas at all of our schools. Aaron and Steve are great examples of that leadership.”