Colleen Johnson

Colleen Johnson

By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

“We’ve known for a long time that we’ve been doing great things. The federal government is just realizing that, I guess.”

So said Colleen Johnson, the new principal of Claggett Creek Middle School, about its emergence from school improvement status by meeting the federal adequate yearly progress (AYP) status for two successive years.

Johnson, who has been with the Salem-Keizer School district for 15 years, moved up from the assistant principal position at Claggett Creek, which she held for three years. Succeeding her as assistant principal is Hector Villalobos, who has been a behavior specialist at McKay High School.

She said her school is celebrating both the new federal status and its 10th anniversary.

“We have a wonderful staff here,” she said. “We’re going to continue to do what’s best for students.”

Asked what the impending reduction in school district revenue is likely to do to Claggett Creek, she said:”I think we’re all going to be affected by it. Our district does a good job of protecting what affects kids.”

Apart from two retirements from positions that will not be refilled, the school will have the same number of staffers it had last year, including 52 teachers. Student enrollment is expected to be about the same at 915.

The end of improvement status makes Claggett Creek a school of choice, meaning that parents in other school attendance areas have the option to send their children there.

Johnson called the efforts of the school “a continued focus,” meaning that Claggett Creek will keep seeking to improve.

“We won’t ever say we’re there,” she said, “but we’re making it.”