Kristi Webster, Principal of Saltar’s Point Elementary School in the Steilacoom Historical School District, has been named as Principal of Pioneer Middle School. The appointment takes effect in July 2007.
“I am pleased that Ms. Webster has accepted the offer to lead this school,” said Dr. Art Himmler, SHSD Superintendent.
“Her knowledge of the student and parent communities of Pioneer, and all ‘graduates’ of Saltar’s Point Elementary School, will greatly assist with the transition process to Saltar’s for one year, and then on to the new Pioneer Middle School in DuPont.”
“I’m pleased and excited about the opportunity to be a part of educational history in the district,” said Ms. Webster.
“Since coming to Steilacoom I’ve grown to appreciate and understand its rich history, and I am committed to ensuring that the students who attend the school will have a similar love for and appreciation of this history.
“During the past eight years as an administrator in this district, I’ve had the advantage of working with many former Steilacoom School/ Pioneer School graduates, and we don’t ever want to lose that legacy,” she continued.
“Forty years from now, I hope those students currently enrolled in Pioneer and those who will attend this school in the future, will share that sentiment about this school and this district.”
“I am looking forward to collaborating with the PIO staff and former graduates to make the next two years especially memorable” for those who will comprise the last class to graduate from the current Pioneer School and those who will be the first students to graduate from the new Pioneer School (June 2009),” she added.
Ms. Webster, a graduate of Oregon State University and receiving her Masters in Administration from City University, came to this district in 1999. Before taking over the leadership at Saltar’s Point Elementary, she was assistant principal at Steilacoom High School for two years. A resident of Steilacoom, she has forged many contacts within the community.
“It is a chance of a lifetime to be the planning principal of such a beautiful new school,” she says.
Note: To meet increasing population and provide a sturdier building, in 1913 the town approved building a new brick structure at the cost of $15,000. The existing Pioneer Middle School, formerly known as Steilacoom School until 1962, was at one time the district’s sole school. The first permanent Steilacoom School building was built on the site in approximately 1893. A second wooden structure was erected in 1916. Ms. Webster becomes the second woman principal of this historic school. Janet Tait, who taught in the district from 1915-1958, was the school’s first female principal.
Until that building was erected, the old wooden building was used. During the winter of 1916-17 teachers Miss Beatrice Bair, and Miss Maude Burgus and principal Miss Eudocia Bair (later Mrs. William Leech), along with their students in grades one through eight moved into the modern building. A large auditorium occupied the upper floor. (excerpt from Steilacoom Historical School District No. 1, 150 years of educating students, by Carol Neufeld Stout and Nancy Covert, 2005)
Currently there are several former Pioneer graduates on the SHSD faculty including Jody Snyder, Bruce Hayes, Atrell Pysniak and Roberta Black. The district’s athletic field at Steilacoom High School was named for Blair Taylor, the district’s first, who also taught at Steilacoom School.
Construction of the new middle school was planned as part of the current $55.6 million construction bond, approved in 2005 by district voters. Ground was broken in Sept. 2006 at the 20-acre site that is bordered by Center Drive and Bob’s Hollow Road. To view progress at the site, visit www.steilacoom.k12.wa.us and access the construction site’s web page.