Washougal School District names new principal, director of special education

Jemtegaard’s assistant principal moves into principal spot at Gause Elementary

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The Washougal School District has filled two administrative vacancies for the 2018-19 school year. They will begin their respective positions on  July 1.

Tami Culp, assistant principal at Jemtegaard Middle School, has been selected as the new principal for Gause Elementary School. Culp has 27 years’ worth of experience in education and was an elementary school classroom teacher for 12 years.

Culp played an active role in the opening of the new building for Jemtegaard this past year. She also lead the work in the planning and implementation of Jemtegaard’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) for the past two years. Culp says she is very excited to continue her leadership role as the principal of Gause Elementary.

Previously, she worked as an instructional coach, school administrator and adjunct professor at Concordia University in Portland. Culp has extensive experience working in Title I schools and leading school and building committees.

Culp began her career in education as a parent volunteer in her daughter’s kindergarten class. She had a career in marketing and advertising but found working with children extremely rewarding.

“I really felt a connection to working with kids on a regular basis,” she said.

Culp continued volunteering, and was later hired as an instructional assistant. After completing the coursework to become a teacher, she took a teaching job at Ardenwald Elementary in Oregon, a school right across the street from her home at the time.

Culp joined Washougal School District in 2016.

She replaces Renae Burson, who has accepted the position of assistant superintendent, succeeding Dr. Patricia Boles, who retires this month.

Dr. Allison Blakely has been selected as the new director of special education for the Washougal School District.

Currently, she is a Life Enrichment Education Program (LEEP) supervisor for the Clackamas Education Service District in Oregon. LEEP is a special education program for students with complex disabilities.

Blakely completed her doctorate in special education at the University of Oregon, in Eugene, Oregon, where she specialized in multi-tiered systems of support, implementation science and special education law. She has previous experience as a special education teacher and a research assistant. Blakely also has taught graduate-level special education coursework for Portland State University.

“Washougal intrigued me because it is clear that there is interest in education and a lot of community support here,” Blakely said. “I’m also excited to be doing district-level work which was the focus of my dissertation and doctorate.”

Blakely grew up in Hood River, Oregon, and said the view of Mt. Hood from Washougal “is the sprinkle on top” of her decision to work here.

She replaces Dr. Rebecca von Duering, who has accepted a position with the Camas School District.

~ Information provided by Jodi Thomas, public information coordinator for Educational Service District 112