Meet & Greet Set for Desert View Principal Candidates

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The Hermiston School District recently hired a new principal for West Park Elementary School and is now turning its focus to filling the same position at Desert View Elementary School.

The district will hold a Meet & Greet event with the final candidates from 2:45 to 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 25. The event is open to the public. Whoever is selected will replace current Principal Mike Scott.

“It was a difficult task for the screening committee to select the finalists from over two dozen quality applications,” said Deputy Superintendent Wade Smith. “We were very pleased with the depth of the candidate pool.”

The attendees are asked to remain for the entire duration of the event in order to meet all five candidates and provide feedback to the selection committee through anonymous comment cards.

The following are the five finalists and a brief summary of their experiences:

Brad Bixler
Bixler has been in education since 1988. Since 2008, he has served as the assistant principal at Pendleton High School. Prior to that, he spent seven years as a fifth-grade teacher in the Pendleton School District. His educational experience includes time spent as an elementary school teacher, technology coordinator, and middle school/high school math and science teacher. Bixler was one of the four finalists for the West Park Elementary principal position.

Michael Roberts
Roberts entered the field of education in 1999. Since 2007, he has served as assistant principal at Housel Middle School in Prosser, Wash. Prior to that, he was a middle school and high school teacher, primarily in the language arts and social studies disciplines. Roberts, too, was among the finalists for the West Park job.

Lisa Darnold
Darnold began her educational career as a special education and sixth grade teacher in the Reedville and Sherwood school districts. Following her teaching career, she was promoted to special programs director in Sherwood, where she served in that role for seven years. She later accepted the director of special education role in the Beaverton School District. Most recently, she has served as an elementary principal in the Reynolds School District at Sweetbriar and Davis elementary schools.

Patrick Couture
A 1993 graduate of Hermiston High School, Couture currently serves as the assistant principal at Phoenix-Talent Middle School in Talent. Prior to his current assignment, Couture served as the assistant principal at Ontario Middle School. His teaching career included instruction both at the elementary and middle school levels.

Sarah Crane-Simpson
An award-winning elementary school teacher, Crane-Simpson currently serves as the special education director for the Intermountain Education Service District. She spent her first seven years in education as an elementary and special education teacher, where she was awarded Teacher of the Year in Amarillo, Texas. Before stepping into her current administrative role, Crane-Simpson served as a school coach and behavioral specialist.