Principal's Message

Dear Willamette families,


Welcome to the 2017/18 school year!  I hope your family had a wonderful summer break, filled with adventure and laughter. Our summer at Willamette was incredibly busy, as we prepared our school for another brilliant year of learning. Part of our work this summer was welcoming five exceptional teachers to our staff. These fine educators are:


    • Derek Porter has been a teacher for ten years in the Beaverton School District and most recently  teaching fourth grade in North Clackamas School District.  Mr. Porter brings with him an infectious joy for learning and a strength in connecting with his students.  Mr. Porter will join our staff as a fourth grade teacher


  • Margot Peek has been a second and third grade teacher at Boones Ferry Primary school in our district for the past nine years.  Her tremendous instructional expertise and care for children will be a wonderful addition to our community. Ms. Peek will join our staff as a second grade teacher.


    • Meghann Bunce has been a learning specialist for nine years, most recently in the North Clackamas school district. Ms. Bunce’s collaborative nature and commitment to the success of every student will support our goal of ensuring each and every child reaches their potential at Willamette.


  • Connie Stewart has been a learning specialist for 25 years in our school district, with 21 years of those spent at Willamette Primary! She will be joining our staff as a .5 learning specialist. Her experience, energy, and instructional knowledge will be an asset to our entire school.


Heading into my second year as principal at Willamette, I am honored to continue leading in such a supportive community.  Our committed families, exceptional teachers, and caring students all contribute to our culture of excellence. We continue to focus on supporting students to develop their belief in themselves as capable and confident learners. We continue to set high goals for ourselves and our students, supported by the belief in our own expertise and our student’s dedication. I am proud to introduce you our remarkable staff, whose assignments for the following year are:


Kindergarten: Mary-Beth Luhnow, Kristen Corwin, Lauren Butcher, and Grace Aguilar

First Grade: Heidi Hopkins, Kelly Oliver, and Nancy Fulcher

Second Grade: Claire Baker, Stefanie Ryder, Margot Peek  

Third Grade: Justine Lang, Pilar Tragresser, Sarah Culp and Andrea Schmidt


Fourth Grade: Derek Porter, Amy Thibault, Kevin Baumbach, and Lynette McMinn

Fifth Grade: Daniel Sloan, Scot Wavra, Tina Allahverdian, and Karena Marcum

Learning Specialists: Meghann Bunce, Connie Stewart, and Diane Brown

Speech and Language Pathologist: Donna King

School Nurses: Lindsay Nowak and Nancy Buchwald

School Psychologist: Jen Steinmetz

Music: Katharine Washington   Wellness:  Julia Stevens   

Teacher-Librarian: Lindsay Riley   Counselor:  Mark Silverman

Instructional Coordinator: Nicole Minor

World Language: Paola Stazzone

School Secretaries: Gretchen Richardson and Inga McDevitt

Building Engineers: Colin Wall and Dalton Gallamore

Nutrition Services: Avey Gunderson and Jessica Souza

Instructional Assistants: Paula Barzola, Cheryl Douma, Laurie Harwood, Jody Hoffman, Vivian Jajou, Shelley Knight, Nicole Skelley-Mitchell, Kathy Walker, Megan Laaperi, Kim Ragan, Jessica Lambert and Pam Lambert


Each and every member of our staff, from those who have joined in the past year to those who have been at Willamette Primary since the school opened, bring a tremendous amount of commitment  to ensuring that each child is able to reach their potential.  Their diligence and preparation over the summer has set the stage for a fantastic beginning to our year.


Classroom Placements


We are committed to challenging every child in our school to high standards.  It is our goal to have all of our classrooms balanced in terms of gender, strengths, and areas of growth. High quality teaching and learning, with attention to each child’s needs, takes place in every classroom. Months have been spent putting together the complex puzzle of creating an optimal learning environment for all the children in our school.  The process does not involve specific teacher requests. However, input from parents about a child's needs has been seriously considered while trying to balance the make-up of each class.  Thank you to parents for timely input about classroom placements.  Due to the effort and thought that went into these class lists and teacher assignments, we do not intend to change any placements.


Each year is an enormous opportunity for children to reconnect with old friends, make new friends, and to explore their own potential. Willamette is filled with outstanding teachers! We have great confidence each child will thrive in the classroom in which they have been placed this coming year.

Below is a list of important school details and upcoming events.  I encourage you to bookmark our school website and subscribe to our listserv if you have not done so already, as these are ways that we distribute important school related information.

School Day:


Our hours are from 7:50-2:10 for all students. Please make every effort to have your child to school on time so they are present for all learning opportunities.  Consistent attendance is vital to ensuring school success for your child, especially at the primary level.  To help start your child’s day off just right, it is best for them to arrive between 7:40 and 7:50am.


School Safety


The safety of our students is our top priority.  Taking time to discuss expected behaviors for your child before school begins and throughout the school year supports our children in making positive decisions. We encourage you to chaperone your students at bus stops and walks to school.  Our student arrival and dismissal will be in the gym. All parents, family members, and child-care providers who plan to pick up students after school will meet children in the gym and sign them out.  


Children should arrive at school between 7:40-7:50 and return home right after school. We have no supervision for children on the playground before or after school. Children walking to and from school should arrive at the crosswalks on 5th Avenue and 12th street or 6th Avenue and 12th Street, so that they can cross with the protection of crossing guards.  If you drive your child to school, please drop your child off quickly at the 12th Street entrance. Be careful to observe the 20mph speed limit. Please do not drop off or pick up your child across from the buses and allow him/her to run in front or behind a bus!


Once the school day begins at 7:50, we will lock all outside doors and gates with the exception of the front doors of the school.  While we warmly welcome all guests and volunteers, all visitors must report to the office to sign in and receive a visitor badge, no matter how often you are at our school.  Please help us enforce this policy by always stopping by the office when you enter our school.


Upcoming School Events:


August 24th- Open House:  you and your child are invited for a short visit from 2:30-3:30.  You may want to help your child find their classroom, meet their teacher, and deposit lunch money in the office.  Your child’s class placement is shared at the end of this letter.


August 29th- First Day of School!  The PTA will have coffee for parents in the library from 7:50-8:30am.  We invite parents to leave classrooms with all deliberate haste so that teachers and children can immediately begin their school year.


Important Note for Kindergarten students:  We stagger the start of the school year for all kindergarten students to support a nurturing, calm first day of school. Check you child’s number next to your classroom placement:


  • 1- Start school on Aug. 29th.  No school on Aug. 30th
  • 2- No school on Aug. 29th. Start school on Aug. 30th
  • All kindergarten children attend on Aug. 31st



August 31st- Ice Cream Social: Our PTA sponsored Ice Cream Social will run from 5:00-7:00. Bring a picnic dinner and blanket and join us for some fun on the lawn. Our PTA will provide ice cream for all!  Please save skateboards, bikes, scooters, roller blades, etc for a different occasion.


September 7th- Curriculum Night, 6:30-8:30 pm.  This important evening is your opportunity to hear about our school, district, and classroom goals. I encourage all of you to attend this night, as teachers, community leaders, and I will be sharing important information about your child’s upcoming school year.


September 12- PTA general meeting in the library at 6:30 pm: Please join us for this important and informative first meeting.  Our PTA encourages new and returning members to attend. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our PTA, which helps our school in so many ways. A special thank you to the PTA for their generous investment in new playground equipment, which should be installed shortly.

Important Bus Information


Please note all bus route numbers may have changed from last year.  Bus routes are listed on our website at   It is important for us to know where each child should go after school.  Make sure you go over this carefully with your child.  Each child should be sure of his/her bus number or who will be there for pick-up after school.  All kindergarten and first grade students will wear bus tags the first week.  We  appreciate everyone's cooperation in trying to get all of our children quickly to their correct destination after school.




We have a system for purchasing meals at Willamette that automatically deducts funds from children’s accounts when they purchase school lunch or milk.  Your child's ID number will be used to deposit funds into his/her account for all meals.  Deposits can be made by cash or check and may be split between siblings.  Deposits do not have to be made in increments of the meal prices.  You can deposit any amount weekly, monthly or yearly.  Send cash deposits to school in an envelope with your child’s first and last name printed on it.  If you send a check, please put your child’s name on the “memo” line.  Teachers will collect funds in the morning and send them to the office.  You may also drop payments off in the office or deposit funds online with a credit card by following the “Food Services” link on our school homepage under the “Quick links” heading.  If you believe you may qualify for free or reduced lunch, a federal program based on income, do not hesitate to ask for an application.

Children may choose to bring their lunch or buy lunch.  School lunch (including milk) costs $3.20 and milk may be purchased separately for 50 cents.  Adult lunches are $4.20.  The monthly lunch menu is always available on our district website.




The state requires a written physician's order for all medications at school.  This is a strict policy that includes over the counter medication.  If your child has been on medication at school in the past, please remember that we must have a new form, which can be found on the district website, signed every school year to continue dispensing the medication.  All medication should be in its original container.  We cannot accept any kind of medicine for disbursement in a plastic baggie. Only parents/ guardians can bring in medication.

The tremendous support we enjoy from our community is one of the keys to our success at Willamette.  Whether through time volunteering in our classrooms or participating in school events, your continued engagement and involvement are essential towards creating a school environment that supports each child’s success.  Making sure that every family feels included and involved in our school is of utmost importance to us, so we  appreciate your feedback on how we can continue to be a school where all families are welcomed. If you have any questions or concerns, I encourage you to contact me right away.  Always feel free to stop by to share a story or an idea that will help us continue to grow.


Lastly, thank you for the gift of teaching your children.  Their spirit, curiosity, and excitement continue to inspire us each and every day.  


With thanks,




Willamette Primary School