Jennifer Turner, the longtime principal of Baker Prairie Middle School, announced she will be retiring at the end of the current academic year, after a career spanning more than 40 years in education and 25 in the Canby School District.
“During my time in Canby, I have had the privilege to be part of the Carus, Eccles and Baker Prairie learning communities,” Turner said in a November 2 email to students and families. “I can honestly say that I love coming to work each day and feel very fortunate to have led and be leading a school that I am so very proud of.”
Turner began her career as a special education teacher in the Lake Stevens School District in northwest Washington, where she spent four years.
She also served as a special ed teacher and counselor in Pendleton and North Thurston Public Schools near Olympia, Washington, before moving to Canby in 1998 with her husband, Steve, and three children.
Canby hired Turner to design and teach a district program for students with learning differences at Carus Elementary School, she recalled. After that, she worked for two years as a behavior and inclusion specialist, serving students in grades K-12, before she was offered her first position as school principal.
She would be a principal for the remainder of her career, leading Carus for four years and then becoming top administrator at Eccles Elementary for another five. In 2010, she moved to Baker Prairie, becoming the third and, by far, longest-serving principal of Canby’s premiere middle school, after Lou Bailey and Betty Rivinus.
“I have worked with and continue to work with amazing staff who dedicate themselves to making a difference in the lives of the students they serve,” Turner wrote. “The trust and partnerships we have built has enabled us to navigate some difficult times in education.
“The families and students I have gotten to know over the past 25 years have left footprints on my heart that will remain there forever. I assure you that I will remain focused and committed to your children and their education.”
Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!