Walla Walla Public Schools has named Kim Doepker principal of Garrison Middle School from a vast pool of qualified candidates. The comprehensive hiring process included applicants screening, interviews, walkthrough committees and a stakeholder meet and greet opportunity event. The entire process involved nearly three dozen staff, parents, and a school board representative.
“My philosophy of education is rooted in my conviction that "children are the focus of the schools" and that all decisions must be prioritized through this lens,” said Doepker. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with students, school personnel, parents and community members for educational excellence at Garrison Middle School.”
Kim Doepker has 28 years of experience in public education and is currently serving as the Principal of Blue Ridge Elementary in Walla Walla. She was assistant principal at Pioneer Middle School prior to her leadership role at Blue Ridge. Doepker also has classroom teaching experience, was a learning specialist and literacy coach.
“Kim Doepker has the skills and experience which make her a great fit to lead Garrison Middle School,” said Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Wade Smith. “She is a proven educational leader with a focus on improved academic achievement and supporting the needs of the whole child.”
Current Garrison MS Principal Robert Elizondo has accepted the Touchet School District superintendent position. His last day as Garrison Middle School Principal is June 30, 2019. Doepker will report as new principal July 1.
Superintendent Smith has appointed Green Park Elementary Dean of Students Justin Vernon interim principal at Blue Ridge Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year. He served as an elementary assistant principal at Highline Public Schools prior to coming to Walla Walla. Vernon was also a math coach and dean of students at Highline Public Schools and has over 10 years of elementary teaching experience.
“The School Board is leading a 10-month process to review elementary enrollment, early learning expansion considerations, and potential reconfiguration/consolidation of elementary schools,” said Smith. “They are still many months away from any direction so we want to ensure we remain flexible to accommodate whatever decision is made.”