By Jayme Taylor, Communications Manager
The district welcomes four new principals who will begin their positions Friday, July 1.
Paula Dawson, principal, Dower Elementary School
Paula Dawson comes to Clover Park School District from Franklin Pierce School District, where she was a reading specialist at Elmhurst Elementary School. She has been an elementary teacher for the past eight years in primary and intermediate classrooms. Dawson has filled in for principals on short- and long-term leaves in her district and was the fifth- through 12th-grade summer school principal for the past two years. Dawson has a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Oregon University and a Master of Science degree in educational leadership from Pacific Lutheran University, where she also obtained her administrative credentials. Dawson replaces Principal Kevin Brooks, who retired. Brooks was first hired in the district in 1980 and was principal of Dower for 25 years.
Paula Gayson, principal, Clarkmoor Elementary School
Paula Gayson has 18 years of experience as an educator—10 as a teacher and eight as an administrator. She was the acting principal of Pioneer Middle School in Steilacoom Historical School District, and also served as the school’s assistant principal for seven years. Approximately 60 percent of Pioneer’s students are military dependents, which gives Gayson a deep understanding of the needs and challenges faced by families on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Gayson has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Linfield College in Oregon, and earned her administrative credentials from Lewis and Clark College. Gayson replaces Principal Molly Click, who passed away in January. Click was principal of Clarkmoor for 12 years.
Gail Gillis, principal, Tyee Park Elementary School
Gail Gillis comes to the district from Orchard Heights Elementary School in South Kitsap School District, where she was the assistant principal for the past three years. Gillis has also been a dean of students, curriculum specialist and world language teacher in Central Kitsap School District. Fluent in Spanish and French, Gillis earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Binghamton University in New York. She obtained her administrative credentials at Seattle Pacific University. She replaces Principal Tina Williams, who is returning to teaching. Williams was principal of Tyee Park for four years.
Lisa Kelly, principal of Custer Elementary School
Lisa Kelly is currently an administrative dean of students at North Tapps Middle School in Dieringer School District. Working in a small K-8 district, Kelly has had a leadership role in the areas of academic achievement and student management. Prior to her current position, Kelly worked as a band director in the Auburn School District, a music specialist at an elementary school in Oregon and a band director at White River High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Pacific Lutheran University, a master’s degree in education from Grand Canyon University and earned her administrative credentials from the University of Washington. She replaces Principal Bev Eastman, who retired. Eastman was first hired by the district in 1974 and was principal of Custer for 19 years.