Principal named at Crooked River

By Rachael Scarborough King / The Bulletin
Published: April 10. 2007 5:00AM PST

PRINEVILLE – The Crook County School Board chose a new principal for Crooked River Elementary School at its regular meeting Monday night.

Cheri Rasmussen, a math teacher at Crook County High School, will take over for retiring Principal Stan Johns at the end of this school year.

Rasmussen, 46, said she has been hoping to move to an administrative position for several years, and jumped at the chance to apply for the Crooked River job. She was born and raised in Prineville and has 10-year-old twin sons in the Crook County school system, so staying in the district was a priority.

“I have been wanting to be an elementary principal since I started my ventures,” said Rasmussen, who completed her administrative certificate in 2004. “Part of it is because we have elementary-age children ourselves, but part of it is because I’m ready for a change.”

Rasmussen has been a teacher for 23 years and has worked at Crook County High School for eight. She said that her goal will be to continue building on Johns’ success at Crooked River, which last year was one of seven schools statewide to win an award for closing the achievement gap for struggling students.

“Being a math person and a data person, I want to continue helping us improve our state scores, and I want us to continue being an award-winning school,” she said.

Johns, who has been in teaching for 34 years and the principal of Crooked River for seven, said he had not worked with Rasmussen before her selection. After this school year, Johns will continue doing some work in the school district, mentoring new administrators including Rasmussen.

“She’s got a lot of enthusiasm and is well thought of in the community,” Johns said. “Like any person in a new position for the first time, she’ll have her lessons to learn, and I’m sure she’ll concentrate on doing her best .”

Johns added that he has already been meeting with Rasmussen to begin the transition process. Crook County Superintendent Steve Swisher said Rasmussen will have some time off from her classes at the high school to work with Johns this term.

“Stan has a lot of years in the building’s principal ship role, and it’s really positive to be able to keep him on for a bit to help with these types of transitions,” Swisher said.

Rasmussen agreed, saying she hopes to learn as much as possible from Johns during the remainder of the school year. She added that her contract will officially begin July 1, and she will start the bulk of her work Aug. 1.

“Every opportunity that I have for a moment here or there, I will be down there with Stan Johns and glean as much information as I can from him,” she said.

Johns announced in early March that he would retire as principal at the end of the year. A committee made up of administrators, school staff and community members chose three finalists for his position and recommended Rasmussen as its top choice.

Johns added that he is glad the candidate came from within the school district.

“That’s my preference if we can do that- I prefer to hire and promote our own people from within,” he said.

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