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Back with the children

Perry returns from desk job to be principal

DALLAS -- On April 7, Dallas Superintendent Dave Novotney announced to staff and parents the new principal at Whitworth Elementary School.

Christy Perry was named to succeed retiring principal Lynn Hurt. Perry was formerly Lyle School principal (1998-2002) and has served the district as personnel director through the current year.

Personnel responsibilities are being assumed by the Superintendent as the district's administrative ranks are reduced by two full positions in the 2003-04 year.

The new Whitworth principal sees herself as a "compassionate leader." She looks forward to "working more closely with kids, families and staff. Knowing them allows me to make better decisions and stay focused on the reasons I'm there.

"Whitworth has a great staff and I'm following a wonderful principal. It's a gift to have this job. It's really gratifying to work in an elementary setting."

She sees necessity in creatively finding ways to support programs and activities in the school. "We must fund the most essential things," she said.

She sees her day beginning by greeting students as they arrive. "A principal's day ends after many teachers have left. Then there are night meetings, too. I know that when I go to the store and see parents and kids, I'm still at work too."

Perry's background is elementary education with work in talented and gifted programs in Salem-Keizer as well as a year as an elementary teacher in that district and three years at Perrydale before coming to Dallas. Before that, she worked in the teacher education program at Western Oregon University.

While at Lyle, she notes the staff went through many changes due, in part, to retirements. "We were able to bring on some quality new teachers. Dallas has strong educators throughout the district and a principal must allow them to do their jobs."

Perry says she has always seen her role as an educator. She sees her career evolving as her family changes. She and husband, Dale, have two children, a son Kyle, 9, and a daughter, Brooke, 8. Both attend Lyle Elementary.

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