Principal's Message

Dear Willamette Families and Community, 


I hope this email finds you well and that each of you have been enjoying the summer, finding time to do things that bring you joy. My summer has been very unique, as we welcomed our son Jack to our family in June! His big sister Maggie (4), and Mom and Dad have been busy getting to know him and enjoying being a family of four! 


It’s hard to believe August is here and that the 2022-2023 school year will be starting in just a few short weeks. For me, August always brings a mix of emotions as the start of the school year quickly approaches. Just like when I was a child attending school, I still feel nervous excitement anticipating what’s to come. Staff will soon be returning to prepare to welcome our students and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we can’t wait to see you or meet you! In the coming weeks, you will see increased communication about preparing to begin school, but I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you more about myself, as I begin my journey as the principal at Willamette. 


I am a native Oregonian and grew up in the Portland metro area. From an early age, it was clear I was headed toward a career in education. We laugh about it now, but my younger brother had to sit through many hours of playing “school” with me (which he did not enjoy!).  I attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Oregon and then moved back to Portland to start my teaching career. One thing unique about my career is that I have been fortunate to spend it all at Willamette. I began as a Learning Specialist, then transitioned to the classroom to teach a second and third grade blended class, followed by grades two and three. Most recently, I served as Instructional Coordinator for six years, where I had the opportunity to get to know many of our students and families. I am thrilled that this next step in my career is at a place I consider my second home. 


Willamette is a special school for many reasons, but what has kept me here for so many years is how aligned the school’s guiding principles are with my own beliefs as an educator and leader. A school community is a place where all children belong and where differences should be recognized and celebrated. Mark Silverman, a beloved former counselor at Willamette, used to use the phrase “be kinder than necessary” and these words can be heard and seen daily at Willamette. It’s my belief that if we lead with kindness and create an environment where every child feels safe and supported, then every child can achieve great things.


As I mentioned above, welcoming Jack to our family has been such a joy and I want to share with you that I will be taking a leave this fall to spend time with him. Willamette will be in good hands while I am away and I certainly won’t be a stranger! I will share more information about the interim principal soon. 


I am honored to serve the students, staff and community of Willamette. I look forward to partnering with you and hope our paths will cross soon. Go Dinos! 


With excitement for a great year ahead, 

Nicole Minor