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St. Paul selects new high school principal

The St. Paul School Board approved the contract of new high school principal Wes Owens on July 8, clearing the final hurdle to appoint the school district’s new administrator.by: SUBMITTED - Wes Owens will take over as St. Paul High School principal in August.

Owens, who previously spent the 2012-13 school year as the superintendent of Sherman County School District, will officially join the St. Paul staff on Aug. 1. His prior experience includes six years as principal and athletic director of Sherman County’s Jr./Sr. high school. He also has experience teaching and coaching basketball and baseball in Moro, the home of Sherman County’s 1A school district that sits 45 minutes southeast of The Dalles.

“Mr. Owens’ experience, open and honest personality, as well as his record of professional accomplishments were all considered as positive evidence the he will be a good fit for the St. Paul position,” said St. Paul Superintendent Joe Wehrli.

Owens stood out among the other candidates for principal with his genuine demeanor and excellent references from Sherman County School District, said St. Paul School Board Chair Kathy Wilmes.

“Where he’s leaving from Sherman County, they’re so sad he’s going,” said Wilmes. “That tells you what you’re getting. When there’s a district that doesn’t want you to leave in the worst way, it tells you you’re gaining something great.”

Part of what made Owens the ideal administrator for St. Paul High School was the way in which he connected with the community in Moro, said Wilmes. Not only was he a popular mentor with the student body, but he also made an effort to connect with parents and community members in Sherman County, and that is something that Wilmes hopes he replicates in St. Paul.

“He really reached out and touched a lot of lives in the adult community,” said Wilmes. “He’s a very community-oriented person, and I think that he will be building community not only with the school, but also within (St. Paul).

“I just got that feeling of being genuinely a very nice person, and I think these kids are going to really enjoy him and build a lot of respect for him.”

Owens’ hire was approved by the St. Paul School Board at a special meeting held on June 25, pending on approval of his contract, which was not available at the time. The board inspected and signed off on the contract at its regular monthly meeting held July 8, paving the way for Owens to take over as high school principal in August.

His hire is the final step in replacing former high school principal and district superintendent Sid Hobgood.

The school board will formalize an official date at its August meeting for the St. Paul community to meet Owens in person.

“I’m excited that he’ll have the opportunity to build a relationship with these kids,” said Wilmes. “He just really puts kids first.”




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