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Gresham Barlow's Koch named Middle School Principal of the Year Print E-mail

john-koch.jpgApparently, good things come in threes for the Gresham Barlow School District this year, with John Koch's recent selection as Oregon’s 2008 Middle School Principal of the Year.  A Gresham administrator for more than 10 years, Koch has been principal of Clear Creek Middle School for the past five years. 

Joining Koch on the statewide honors list from Gresham Barlow this year are: Sue Worthington, from West Orient Middle School, who was named Assistant Principal of the Year; and Anita Harris, from Hogan Cedars Elementary, who was named Elementary Principal of the Year.

When assigned to Clear Creek Middle School five years ago, Koch and his staff faced challenges in the areas of attendance and behavior in this culturally and economically diverse school.  To create a safer and more positive climate, Koch brought in the Positive Behavior Supports program, which significantly reduced the number of referrals the following year.  He also sought to involve parents in the school, many of whom were Hispanic, so he started a Latino Parent Night, which uses cultural norms to attract parents.  With these and other programs in place, things began to turn around in the school.  After reviewing the academic, attendance, behavior and attitudinal data, the Oregonian recognized Clear Creek Middle School as one of the top ten most improved in their 8th grade reading scores in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties this past fall.  Also, during the 2006-07 school year, Clear Creek moved from a "satisfactory" rating to a "strong" rating on the Oregon Report Card.

One of the cornerstones of Koch's success at Clear Creek is built around the 4 R’s: Respect, Responsibility, Relationships and Results.  One of his assistant principals, Nicki Hudson, puts it this way: “John Koch begins with courage, proceeds with intelligence, and ends in success in his every endeavor.”

The Middle School Principal of the Year Award is sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Administrators and MetLife.  All state winners will be honored at the Principals’ Conference next fall, where they will have the opportunity to share their experience and expertise with each other, as well as national leaders in education.

This page was last updated on Monday, May 19, 2008 .