A new principal is coming to town in August.

Janine Attlesperger is bringing years of experience to Grant County with her first day as principal set for Aug. 2.

She is moving from Terrebonne, where she is currently the Title I reading specialist at the Terrebonne Community School.

Attlesperger got her teaching degree from Western Oregon University and tought middle school and then fifth grade near the university. She also got her master’s degree there and completed a leading specialist internship where she redesigned the reading program in a school that did not have one.

“We were given an opportunity to move to a small town in central Pennsylvania, and I got a job with an intermediate unit out there, similar to our (education service districts),” Attlesperger said.

She was able to go into non-public schools as well, bringing services to many Amish and Mennonite schools. She also got her administrative certificate in Pennsylvania.

When her two older kids graduated, she made the move back to Oregon and has worked as the Title I reading specialist at the Terrebonne Community School for the past seven years.

Three years ago she started working on her doctorate degree and expects to graduate by December.

“It’s something I’m passionate for, and I am passionate about working with kids and improving the education system for all learners,” Attlesperger said. “The John Day and Canyon City area has always been a place my family has loved so we couldn’t be happier.”

Attlesperger said they have never lived in Grant County, but they enjoyed visits to the area and the recreational opportunities.

Fishing in the John Day River, camping in the Strawberry Mountains and her husband bowhunting are some of the recreational activities they enjoy on their visits.

“We’re just small town people, so when I started looking at administrative positions, I was looking in small towns,” Attlesperger said. “I grew up in Grants Pass back when it was a small town, and my husband grew up in Keizer when it used to not be a part of Salem.”

She hopes this will be their last move and where they will hang their hats for the rest of their lives.

Attlesperger said she looks forward to meeting the families and staff.

“We have spent time there in Grant County, but to become a part of that community is special,” Attlesperger said.

She is also excited to see Humbolt’s greatest strengths, while working on what needs improvement.

The relationships built with families and the community are her favorite parts of working in the education system. Especially with the challenges presented by COVID-19, she said the support systems really came into play in meeting the need of students and parents.

“This has been a hard year, and we’ve risen above it,” Attlesperger said. “I think, in a lot of ways, we can’t wait for things to get back to normal, but I also think that some good has come out of this. As educators, we have learned how to meet the needs of individual students and families.”


Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at rudy@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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