We're excited to announce new school principals and other new district leaders for the 2023-24 school year.
2023-24 Leadership Announcements
- Director of Elementary Education
- Keewaydin Discovery Center Coordinator
- Highlands Middle School Principal
- Southridge High School Principal
- Washington Elementary Principal
- Hawthorne Elementary Principal
Director of Elementary Education
An accomplished district administrator focused on instructional improvement will be the next director of elementary education.
Jared Lind, who currently serves as the executive director of instructional improvement and assessment in the Grandview School District, has been selected to replace Rob Phillips, assistant superintendent of elementary education, who will retire in June.
“Jared brings both experience as a building principal and a district administrator,” said Matt Scott, assistant superintendent for K-12 education. “He has a passion for continuous improvement and professional growth, along with a desire to mentor, coach and collaborate with our school leaders. This makes him an ideal addition to the K-12 Education team.”
Lind has worked his entire career in education with the Grandview School District. Before working as a district administrator, he served as an elementary school principal, assistant principal and teacher.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Central Washington University, a master’s degree in teaching from Grand Canyon University and an administration certification from Heritage University.
Keewaydin Discovery Center Coordinator
A skilled leader with extensive experience in special education has been chosen as the next coordinator of Keewaydin Discovery Center.
Dr. Kelley Rutherford will replace Kate Armitage, who's retiring.
“Kelley brings a drive and passion for improving outcomes for our special services students. She also has a strong knowledge of our continuum of services and a proven ability to collaborate and problem solve. We’re thrilled to have her join our team," said Lexie Buschbach, director of special services.
Dr. Rutherford joined the Kennewick School District in 2016 as a physical therapist, and she added behavior specialist duties in 2021. She also served as a summer school administrator for special education in 2022.
Before joining KSD, she worked as a pediatric physical therapist at KidSPOT in Kennewick and as a clinic manager and physical therapist at Oasis Physical Therapy in Pasco.
She holds a doctorate of physical therapy from the University of Las Vegas, a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Washington State University in Pullman and a principal certification with a special education director emphasis from Heritage University in Toppenish.
Highlands Middle School Principal
A longtime Lion is about to become a Scottie.
Desiree Martinez, assistant principal at Kennewick High School, will be Highlands Middle School's next principal.
She starts in July, replacing retiring Highlands Principal Lori McCord.
“Desiree is deeply committed to serving students, staff and families in Kennewick. She will be an excellent addition to the Highlands leadership team,” said Rhonda Pratt, director of secondary education.
Martinez has been an educator in the Tri-Cities for nearly 23 years, most of that time at Kennewick High.
She was a business and marketing education teacher at the school from 2003 to 2014 and then moved to Tri-Tech Skills Center, where she was CTE coordinator for a year. She returned to Kennewick High in 2015 as an assistant principal.
She's served on numerous district-level committees, and she worked as adjunct faculty at Central Washington University from 2015 to 2020.
Martinez holds a master's degree in educational technology from Boise State University, a bachelor's degree in business education from Central Washington University, a principal certification from Heritage University and a CTE director certification from the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. She's also a National Board Certified Teacher.
Martinez grew up in Kennewick, attending Highlands Middle School and graduating from Kennewick High.
Southridge High School Principal
An experienced administrator who focuses on servant leadership, teamwork and restorative practices will be the new principal of Southridge High School.
John Griffith starts in July, replacing interim Principal Ron Williamson.
"John brings a great deal of experience to this position. He is a skilled leader who focuses on supporting all students, staff and families in the school community," said Rhonda Pratt, executive director of secondary education.
Griffith currently is serving as principal of Riverton High School in West Riverton, Wyoming, a position he's held since 2013. Before that, he was the school's assistant principal for three years and he worked as a teacher and coach at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Montana for six years.
He holds a master's degree in educational leadership and a K-12 principal license from Montana State University and a bachelor's degree in secondary education and social studies from the University of Wyoming.
Washington Elementary Principal
A former Washington Elementary Tiger is returning to the school as the new principal.
Dr. Jen Veach, who served as assistant principal from 2019 to 2022, has been selected to replace Principal Kim Lembeck.
Veach will start in July.
"We are excited to have Jen Veach serve as the principal at Washington Elementary. After serving as their assistant principal for three years, she brings knowledge of Washington’s families, the staff and the school’s programs," said Rob Phillips, assistant superintendent of elementary education.
Veach is currently serving as the assistant principal of Leona Libby Middle School in Richland. She's also worked as a behavior interventionist at Chinook Middle School, assistant principal at Basin City Elementary in the North Franklin School District, a principal intern and summer school program principal at Amistad Elementary, and as a teacher at Amistad and Vista elementary schools.
She holds a doctorate in education leadership, a master's degree in education leadership and a principal certificate from Washington State University Tri-Cities and a bachelor's degree from Antioch University.
Hawthorne Elementary Principal
Hawthorne Elementary's next principal is a familiar face at the school.
Angela González, who's been Hawthorne's assistant principal since 2019 and was a teacher there before that, has been selected to replace retiring Principal Craig Miller. González will start in the new role in July.
"After serving Hawthorne’s families and staff for years, we are happy to have Angela González on board as the principal. She brings a wealth of knowledge of Hawthorne’s various programs and the Bears community," said Rob Phillips, assistant superintendent of elementary education.
González started her career in Kennewick School District in 2014 as a first-grade sheltered English teacher at Hawthorne. She went onto work as a bilingual reading specialist, first-grade dual language teacher, fourth-grade teacher and summer school program administrator at Hawthorne before becoming the assistant principal. For one year, she served as the assistant principal at both Hawthorne and Canyon View elementary schools.
Before joining KSD, González taught in the Pasco School District.
She holds a master's degree in educational leadership and a bachelor's degree in K-8 elementary education from Washington State University Tri-Cities. She also holds a principal administration certificate and a professional certificate from the university.