Ninety-One School Principal Accepts Position with Portland Public Schools

Ninety-One School’s new principal, Joanna Tobin, who was hired this summer to replace Skyler Rodolph, will depart Canby School District before the new year officially begins, it was announced Tuesday.

Tobin accepted a position to serve as senior director of middle grades core academics for the Office of Teaching & Learning at Portland Public Schools.

“This leadership position gives me the opportunity to lead the middle grades (6-8th) core curriculum and also the redesign of the middle-grade years,” Tobin said, writing in a letter to the community that the decision came with “many emotions” for her.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to serve as Principal here at Ninety-One,” she wrote. “No doubt about it, Ninety-One is an exceptional school community and I’m grateful to have been a part of it.”

In a separate communication, the Canby School District wished Tobin well and announced Andy Pauls, an instructional specialist at Ninety-One, would step into the role of interim principal.

“He is in his 12th year at the school, having served as a teacher before becoming the instructional specialist,” the district said of Pauls. “We have great faith in Andy and his ability to quickly jump in and get the school year off to a positive start! Please join us in welcoming Andy to our CSD leadership team!”

Ninety-One teacher Mariah Vondrachek, who has taught at the school for six years, will shift into the role of interim instructional specialist, and the district will fill her third-grade teaching position at Ninety-One as quickly as possible.

“We are looking forward to continuing to prepare this week for our students to return for the best year yet!” the district said.

Before Tobin’s hiring, the Canby School District held a series of community surveys, which Superintendent Aaron Downs said revealed several key themes: a leader who understands the unique “family” that is the Ninety-One community, someone who puts students first, and a principal who is qualified to lead a rural K-8 school.

Tobin began her career in the North Clackamas School District, serving as a teacher, counselor, and assistant principal. While in the St. Helens School District, she was an assistant high school principal focused on curriculum and instruction, a middle and elementary school principal, and served as a director of the English Learners program.

Most recently, Tobin worked in the Riverdale School District, serving as a K-8 principal for seven years. In her time there, she was also the director of curriculum — and interim superintendent at the school board’s request.

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