Lalack takes over as new McNary AP

Tyler Lalack comes to McNary after spending 15 years in the Dallas School District (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).

After saying goodbye to Susanne Stefani — who had been working at the school for 13 years, but left to take the head principal position at Stayton High — McNary High has brought in Tyler Lalack to be the new assistant principal of the school.

With construction and seismic upgrades starting this summer and continuing through the school year thanks to the Salem-Keizer Bond Project, Lalack is joining the McNary staff at a pretty exciting time. 

“It’s exciting to see all the opportunities coming forth in Keizer and to have McNary be a beneficiary of the bond project,” Lalack said. “Having the community supporting education here in Keizer is very inspirational from a educator’s standpoint. There’s a really strong teacher-leadership core here at McNary, which greatly helped my decision to come here.”

Lalack comes to Keizer from the Dallas School District, where he spent 15 years in multiple positions, including a football and baseball coach at Dallas High School. He had been the assistant principal Lacreole Middle School for four years before taking the same position at McNary. 

Even though he left a small school district to join the Salem-Keizer School District — which is the second largest in the state — Lalack appreciates the small-town vibe that Keizer provides.

“I love the mentality that, even though were a part of a broader school district, Keizer is still their own community and I think that there are a lot of supports within that. There’s a really strong, one-high school community feel to it,” Lalack said. 

Lalack is also excited to be working alongside McNary head principal Erik Jespersen. 

“(Jespersen) is a very innovative thinker and he has a plan of where he sees education going for the students in Keizer,” Lalack said. “He’s very detail-oriented and he develops teacher-leaders.” 

As an administrator, Lalack takes pride in making sure students and staff know that he is in their respective corners.

“I see myself as a facilitator for teachers and an ear for students. I need to make sure the teachers are getting what they need, but also make sure that I am listening to the students to and hearing what their experiences are like,” Lalack said. 

One of goals that Lalack has as assistant principal is to continue to make sure that McNary is an inclusive environment for students with special needs. He is also passionate about making sure each educational program has diverse numbers.

“As McNary continues to develop courses of study, we want to make sure each course is inclusive and represents our diverse student population. A historical educational example would be with upper level math and sciences being underrepresented by females. As a school, we can review our courses of study, inform our students of options, and provide learning opportunities for them that they may not be aware of,” Lalack said. 

While he has experience as an assistant principal, Lalack wants to soak up all the knowledge he can about the school environment in his first year at McNary. 

“Even though I’m not a first-year administrator, there is still a lot to learn. But everyone is very welcoming and open, which makes it a comfortable work environment to take risks and ask questions. Seeing how welcoming people have been is very noticeable and appreciated,” Lalack said.