2023-24 Leadership Announcements
- Assistant Director of Communications
- Assistant Director of Career and College Readiness
- Fuerza Elementary Assistant Principal
- Washington Elementary Assistant Principal
- Director of Career and College Readiness
- Southridge High School Assistant Principal
- Horse Heaven Hills Middle School Assistant Principal
- Assistant Director of Special Services
- Director of Information Technology
- Amon Creek Elementary Assistant Principal
- Horse Heaven Hills Middle School Principal
- Principal of Secondary Alternative Education
- Director of Student Services
- Director of Learning Programs & Supports
- Amon Creek Elementary Principal
- Ridge View Elementary New Assistant Principal
- Southgate Elementary Assistant principal
- Horse Heaven Hills Middle School Assistant Principal
- Kennewick High School Assistant Principal
- Hawthorne Elementary Assistant Principal
- Cottonwood Elementary Principal
- Director of Elementary Education
- Keewaydin Discovery Center Coordinator
- Highlands Middle School Principal
- Southridge High School Principal
- Washington Elementary Principal
- Hawthorne Elementary Principal
We are delighted to introduce Patricia "Patt" Mosley as our new Assistant Director of Communications. With over 20 years of global marketing communications and branding experience, Patricia is a seasoned professional to join the Kennewick School District's Communications department.
"Patt will be a dynamic addition to the communications team," stated Robyn Chastain, executive director of communications and public relations. "She shares a vision of providing effective, positive and transparent communications to our families, staff and community."
She has worked at NIKE, InFocus Corporation and managed her own marketing consulting business, with experience in both public and private industries. Patricia excels in strategic communications, including content development, website design, print collateral, social channels and email campaigns.
Mosley holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and a master's in business administration from the University of Phoenix.
Amy Francis, an experienced career and technical education (CTE) instructor with a background in banking, is taking on the role of assistant director of career and college readiness. She currently teaches computer applications and computer science at Chinook Middle School and is replacing Abby Mattson, who was recently appointed director of career and college readiness.
"We're excited to have Amy on our career and college readiness team," said Mattson. "She has a strong track record of building positive relationships with both staff and students, creating efficient systems and prioritizing student learning in her decision-making."
Amy Francis began her teaching career in 2011 after 13 years in banking at Bank of America. She holds a National Board Certification for Teaching, a CTE administrative certification from Eastern Washington University, a CTE teacher certificate from Central Washington University, a master's degree in teaching K-8 from Heritage University, and a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Washington.
An experienced elementary leader with more than 17 years working in education will be the new assistant principal at Fuerza Elementary.
Kate McConnell has served as the dean of students at Cascade Elementary in the Issaquah School District since 2019. She previously taught fifth grade highly capable, eighth grade advanced language arts and social studies, and fifth grade in the same district. She began her teaching career as a seventh grade language arts/reading teacher in the Columbia School District.
"We are excited to have Kate join Fuerza Elementary," stated Fuerza Elementary Principal Dora Johns. "Kate has a passion for student growth and a wealth of experience with MTSS and instructional differentiation best practices. We look forward to adding her to our Lobo team."
She holds a master's degree in teaching from Heritage University, a bachelor's degree in English and a gifted education specialty endorsement from Whitworth University.
McConnell is a native of the Tri-Cities and attended Sunset View Elementary in Kennewick.
Amber Culhane is ready to put her nine years of instructional improvement and leadership expertise to good use as the new assistant principal at Washington Elementary.
Culhane has worked as math teacher at Park Middle School since 2017 and she previously worked as a math and science inclusion teacher in the Pasco School District.
“Amber has a strong background in and passion for innovative and engaging instruction," stated Washington Elementary Principal Jen Veach. "This, coupled with her commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive learning environment, makes her a natural fit at Washington. We are excited to welcome her to the Tiger Team!”
She holds a master's degree in educational leadership and a bachelor's degree in education with an elementary endorsement from Washington State University, along with an associate degree from Columbia Basin Community College. She is currently working towards earning a master's degree in neuroscience and trauma at Tabor College.
Culhane is a graduate of Southridge High School in Kennewick.
Abby Mattson has been named the new director of career and college readiness for Kennewick School District.
She brings 20 years of experience in career and technical education to her new role. Mattson previously served as the assistant director of career and technical education, the assistant director of Tri-Tech Skills Center, an assistant principal at Sandstone Middle School in the Hermiston School District, and a family and consumer science teacher at Kennewick High School.
"Abby’s vision to have all students thinking about careers and life after high school makes her the perfect selection for this position," stated Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Alyssa St. Hilaire.
Mattson holds a master's degree in educational administration and supervision from Arizona State University, a master's degree in teaching from Grand Canyon University and a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences from Central Washington University.
Elizabeth Stiles, an educator with more than 28 years of experience in Kennewick School District, has been selected as the next assistant principal at Southridge High School.
"We are so excited to have Liz rejoin the Southridge team," stated John Griffith, principal. "Her dedication to our students has already made a lasting impact and we are thrilled to have her back as part of our leadership team."
Stiles has been the assistant principal at Washington Elementary for the past two years. Prior to that, she worked as an instructional coach, library media specialist and an English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Southridge. She started in the district as a 7th grade ELA and social studies teacher at Horse Heaven Hills Middle School. Stiles also has extensive experience coaching cheer, dance and serving as the advisor for ASB and the leadership class at Southridge.
Stiles holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a principal certificate from Eastern Washington University, as well as a master’s in education from Heritage University. She also earned her National Board Certification in teaching.
Stiles replaces Christine Clem who resigned.
Kennewick School District has named Tanya Kennedy as the new assistant principal of Horse Heaven Hills Middle School.
"We are so excited for Tanya to join the Mustang team," stated Jeremy Fox, principal. "Tanya brings knowledge, experience and expertise in a variety of areas that will provide valuable support to the Horse Heaven Hills community."
Kennedy most recently served as a secondary instructional coach in the Hermiston School District. Prior to that role, she served as dean of students at Desert View Elementary and a special education facilitator, both in the Hermiston School District. She began her career as a special education teacher in the Philadelphia School District.
She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a concentration in special education from Elizabethtown College and a master's degree in educational administration from Grand Canyon University.
Rosie Ogren has been promoted to assistant director of special services.
"Rosie is a vital member of our special education department," stated Lexie Buschbach, director of special services. "She brings a passion for special education, a desire to improve student outcomes, and a wealth of knowledge as both a special education classroom teacher and special education specialist. We are excited to have her expand her leadership capacity within our team!"
Rosie most recently served as the district's special services coordinator since 2020. She has also worked as an educational specialist, resource room teacher, development therapy teacher and substitute teacher.
She holds a bachelor's degree of in special education and elementary education from Montana State University Billings, and a master's degree in education administration from University of Concordia Portland.
As an integral member of the information technology team for nearly 20 years, Eric Veach has advanced to the role of director of information technology.
“Eric has grown his technical and managerial skills over the years,” stated Ron Cone, executive director of information technology. “Our organization has come to rely on his technical proficiencies and valuable input on managing the internal systems and functions. We would not be where we are today without his contributions.”
Most recently he held the information technology building systems and help desk supervisor position. Eric started as a help desk agent and has worked as an information technology field technician and network administrator.
Among his career accomplishments to date, is the successful implementation of multiple key systems for the district, including the Kennewick School District G-Suite domain (Google) and the standardization of the district's building security.
Eric was awarded a Kennewick School District Staff Excellence Award for Staff Support Person of the Year in 2016. He is a member of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and holds numerous certifications, including Google’s G-Suite Administration, S2 Advanced Security Administration and Avamar.
An experienced Kennewick School District administrator has been named the new assistant principal at Amon Creek Elementary.
Tammy Hutchison will take over as assistant principal for Brian Massey, who will become Amon Creek’s new principal.
“We are excited to have Tammy join the outstanding staff of Amon Creek Elementary School,” stated Brian Massey. “She brings great experience in building relationships, supporting teachers and a real passion for doing what’s best for kids. These qualities will help us continue to serve the Amon Creek community at the highest level.”
Hutchison has served as an assistant principal at Horse Heaven Hills Middle School for the past 11 years. Prior to administration, she was a teacher at Desert Hills Middle School for 16 years. She has also coached high school high school girls basketball and softball at both the middle and high school levels.
She earned a bachelor’s in education from Eastern Washington University, and a master’s in education and administration credentials from Heritage University.
Kennewick School District has named Jeremy Fox, an accomplished school administrator, as the new principal of Horse Heaven Hills Middle School.
For the past four years, Fox has served as the principal at Robert Olds Junior High in the North Franklin School District.
"Jeremy Fox brings amazing administrative experience to Horse Heaven Hills," stated Rhonda Pratt, director of secondary education. "He has spent the majority of his career at the middle school level and we are excited that he will be continuing his career with KSD."
Prior to working in North Franklin, Fox worked in the Pasco School District for 10 years as an assistant principal at McLoughlin Middle School, Stevens Middle School, Emerson Elementary, and Whittier Elementary.
He holds a bachelor of science degree from Central Washington University, a master’s in teaching from City University and an administrative certification from Washington State University.
Kennewick School District has named Guy Strot, a veteran administrator with more than 17 years of educational experience, as the new principal of secondary alternative education.
Strot will lead Endeavor, Juvenile Justice Center, Legacy and Phoenix high schools.
“Guy brings extensive experience as an administrator,” stated Rhonda Pratt, director of secondary education. “We are excited to welcome him to Kennewick School District.”
Currently, Strot is a superintendent and principal in the Wishram School District. He previously served as a superintendent and principal in the Dayton School District; a middle and high school principal in the Kalama School District; a principal, special education and Title I director, teacher in the Lind School District; and a teacher in the Centennial School District.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from University of Portland, a master’s in teaching from Western Washington University, administrator certificate from Concordia University, superintendent credentials from Western Washington University, and a native education certificate from University of Washington.
Strot replaces C.D. Williams who will be moving to Horse Heaven Hills Middle School.
An experienced district office leader will be the new director of student services.
BJ Wilson, who has worked as the special education director in the Grandview School District since 2020, will start his new position on July 1.
“We are pleased to have Mr. Wilson joining our K-12 Department team,” stated Matt Scott, assistant superintendent of K-12 education. “He brings a wealth of experience working at the district level supporting student services in his previous positions. His commitment to collaboration and systems development will assist our department in supporting building leaders in the areas of student behavior, health and achievement.”
Prior to his current position, Wilson was the special programs director in the Hermiston School District for five years, an elementary principal in the Morrow County School District for four years, and an elementary and middle school special education teacher for Hermiston for six years.
He holds a bachelor’s in elementary education with a minor in special education from Central Washington University and a master’s in education administration and an administration certification from University of Oregon.
Wilson will replace Brian Leavitt who is resigning at the end of this school year.
A familiar face at Amon Creek Elementary has been named its next school leader.
Brian Massey has been selected as the next principal. Massey has served as the assistant principal of the school since it’s opening in 2018. Prior to Amon Creek, he served as an assistant principal at Cascade Elementary. In total, he has 27 years of experience working as an educator and building leader.
“Brian Massey has been a part of Amon Creek Elementary since it opened and he brings a deep understanding of the staff, families and programs,” stated Rob Phillips, assistant superintendent of elementary education. “We look forward to the positive impact he will have on student learning for years to come.”
Massey earned a bachelor’s of arts in education and a master’s of science in educational leadership from Washington State University.
Shelbe Ward, an educational leader dedicated to supporting teachers achieve student success, has been named the new assistant principal of Ridge View Elementary.
Ward is currently a Title 1 interventionist at Trent Elementary in the East Valley School District in Spokane Valley. She previously taught sixth grade at Chess Elementary and Stevens Middle School in Pasco, first and fourth grade at Jason Lee Elementary in Richland, and third-grade bilingual at Marie Curie STEM Elementary in Pasco.
“Ridge View is excited to bring Shelbe on board,” stated Naomi Puckett, principal. “She is a well-rounded leader with an extensive background in instructional leadership, standards planning, PBIS, and MTSS. Shelbe will be an excellent addition to our staff!”
Ward is a national board certified teacher and holds a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education with a reading endorsement and a minor in special education from Eastern Washington University. She also earned her masters in English as a second language from Western Governors University and her administrative credentials from Eastern Washington University.
Ward replaces Jacki Moore who was recently named the principal of Cottonwood Elementary for the 2023-24 school year.
Meet Southgate Elementary’s New Assistant Principal
Mary Isley has been named Southgate Elementary’s next assistant principal. Isley is currently the principal at Horse Heaven Hills Middle School and will begin her new position on July 1, 2023.
“Southgate Elementary is excited to welcome Mary to the team and know that her experience and background will be a perfect match for the goals and vision of our building,” stated Principal Joe Jones. “She brings a wealth of experience includes a focusing on student needs, supporting staff in their efforts to provide intentional and innovative instruction, and developing meaningful relationships with the community stakeholders. Our students, staff, and community will greatly benefit by having an experienced administrator join our team and truly help keep our work moving forward.”
Williams named next assistant principal of Horse Heaven Hills Middle School
“C.D. brings a wealth of experience to the Horse Heaven Hills community,” stated Rhonda Pratt, director of secondary education. “He is a skilled leader who strives to encourage and support staff, students and families.”
Williams is currently the principal of Legacy, Endeavor and Phoenix high schools, as well as the Juvenile Justice Center.
Prior to working at Kennewick School District, Williams served as principal of Kiona-Benton City Intermediate School. He was also an assistant principal, athletic director and ASB advisor at Kiona-Benton City Middle School, middle school math teacher in the Pasco School District, and acting administrator and taught English, history and math at Jubilee Christian Academy.
Williams has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Eastern Washington University and a master's degree in teaching and educational leadership from Heritage University. He also holds an administrative certification from Heritage.
Kayla Monroe has been appointed as the new assistant principal at Kennewick High School.
Monroe is currently serving as the director of student success for the East Valley School District in Yakima, Wash. She also served as a principal and an assistant principal for East Valley High School, and an English teacher at Sunnyside High School.
"Kayla has a wealth of experience as a school and instructional leader," stated Principal Ron King. "Most importantly, she values the safety, well-being and success of all students and staff.”
Monroe holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from Eastern Washington University and a master's degree from Washington State University in Educational Leadership.
Monroe will take the place of Desiree Martinez who will be transitioning to her new role as the principal of Highlands Middle School.
Joshua Alexander has been named the next assistant principal at Hawthorne Elementary. He replaces Angela Gonzalez who will become the next principal.
Alexander has worked as a behavior specialist at Roosevelt Elementary in the Yakima School District for three years. He also taught fourth grade at Roosevelt for six years. Prior to his careers in education, he served in the military.
"Joshua will be a great fit for our Hawthorne community," stated Gonzalez, the incoming principal for Hawthorne Elementary. "He Brings a focus on positive behavior, instructional rigor and enthusiasm for building a positive culture."
Alexander holds a bachelor's degree in economics from University of Washington, a master's in education from Grand Canyon University and a master's in educational leadership from Western Governors University.
A longtime school administrator has been selected as the next principal of Cottonwood Elementary.
Jacki Moore, currently the assistant principal at Ridge View Elementary, will be taking over for outgoing principal Alyssa Nesbit.
"We are fortunate to have a strong leader , such as Jacki, to take over the leadership role at Cottonwood Elementary," stated Rob Phillips, assistant superintendent of elementary education. "Jackie has been a highly successful assistant principal in Kennewick for eight years and is proven leader in the areas of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support; developing strong relationships with staff, students, families; and using data to make informed decisions to help students be successful in school."
Moore has serves as an assistant principal at both Ridge View and Lincoln elementary schools, a reading specialist at Lincoln Elementary, paraprofessional at Southgate Elementary, and an elementary teacher at St. Patrick's Catholic School in Pasco.
Moore holds a bachelor's and master's degree in elementary education , and an administration certification from Washington State University.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.