Battle Ground changes include new principal at Laurin campus

first_imgBattle Ground Public Schools has shuffled several of its administrators, citing what it termed “challenges” at the growing Laurin Middle School campus.Matt Kesler, a first-time principal who was at Laurin Middle School, will move to River HomeLink to be an administrator for River Online Learning, the district’s online program. Travis Drake, Prairie High School’s longtime principal, will head to Laurin to fill Kesler’s position. Prairie Assistant Principal Stephanie Watts will step into Drake’s position on an interim basis.Area districts typically wait until the end of the school year to announce administrative changes, but district spokeswoman Rita Sanders said the district wanted to make changes now rather than wait. She said Laurin is growing, and the campus is one of the older buildings in the district. That creates an environment that requires “an experienced leader,” she said.“It’s just we needed more experience, pure and simple,” Sanders said.Superintendent Mark Ross also alerted district staff of the changes in an email Wednesday.“In this case, we felt that it was critical to have an experienced administrative team immediately begin working at Laurin to help them with the challenges they face as a campus in one of the highest student growth areas of the district,” Ross said.Neither Sanders’ nor Ross’ email offered many details in terms of what “challenges” the campus faces. Sanders pointed to growing pains like not enough parking or office space.“It’s everything,” Sanders said.Other administrators will also be affected by the shifts. Eric Sakshaug, the former dean for students at Battle Ground High School, is heading to Laurin as its assistant principal. Erin Thompson, who was assistant principal at Laurin, will hold the same job on an interim basis at Prairie. Ben Ziegler, an administrative intern, was named the interim dean for students at Prairie High School.last_img read more