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New Interim Principal Selected for High Desert

Summit Assistant Principal Mary Thomas to Serve

Article Date: Jul 18, 2022

Today Superintendent Steven Cook announced that Summit High School Assistant Principal Mary Thomas has been selected to serve as interim principal at High Desert Middle School.

“Mary Thomas is an excellent communicator, who is very student-oriented. She is known as a great listener who cares deeply about developing relationships and supporting students,” said Superintendent Steven Cook. “High Desert families and staff will be well-served by Mary, an inclusive, strong leader who is ready and excited to step into this role.”

Thomas is currently serving as an Assistant Principal at Summit High School, where she has worked as an administrator for the past four years. Prior to that, she served as a classroom teacher for middle and high school students for 17 years in Bend, Sisters, Indonesia and the Portland area. Thomas also has 10 years of experience as an educator for outdoor schools in the Portland area.

“My philosophy is to lead with grace and kindness and to make sure everyone feels heard and supported. I am excited to join an incredible team of educators, who are known for putting students first,” said Thomas. “I look forward to collaborating with staff, families and students to support a safe, welcoming and inviting environment for learning.”

Thomas says she’s looking forward to serving middle school students, as she has many years of experience with this age group starting from when she served as an educator at outdoor school.

Thomas will replace Wendy McCulloch, who accepted a new position at a school district in Washington. Bend-La Pine Schools will conduct an open recruitment process for a principal in 2023.