Westside, District gain new leaders

Members of the Hood River County School District Board welcomed two new leaders into administrative positions for the district during their April board meeting.

Penny Grotting will take on her new position as the curriculum and special programs director, replacing Terri Vann on July 1. Vann is retiring.

Westside Elementary School Principal Ed Drew is retiring and will be replaced by Bill Newton, who recently served as principal at Miller Elementary School in the Salem-Keizer public schools. Newton will undertake his new post beginning July 1.

Grotting joins HRCSD from her recent position at the Malheur Education Service District where she served as the curriculum and instruction services program director. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and an Oregon continuing administrator license.

“Penny brings experience in working with data teams and has conducted training statewide in data teams; plus she has a vast background in curriculum,” said HRCSD Supt. Charlie Beck.

Grotting’s previous positions included serving as superintendent at the Annex School District and curriculum director for four years at the Powers School District — both in Oregon.

Newton holds a master’s degree in educational policy foundations in administration from Portland State University. He has served as principal in three schools in Oregon, plus two years as principal at the American Cooperative School in La Paz, Bolivia. He has been both an elementary and middle school teacher and holds an Oregon continuing administrator license.

“Bill is an experienced elementary school principal who brings knowledge of Spanish, from his time in Bolivia, and experience in working with working with data teams and professional learning communities,” said Beck. “We are very excited to have both of them on our administrative team.”

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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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