September 5, 2017
By PAES Admin

Welcome Back to School!!!

School is officially back in session and it's awesome to see everyone on campus! Summer was sunny, fun, relaxing and full of adventure (just as it should be!), but we're…...

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School is officially back in session and it’s awesome to see everyone on campus! Summer was sunny, fun, relaxing and full of adventure (just as it should be!), but we’re ready to be back. There are some exciting changes this year at PAES.  

First of all, our new Principal, Brandon O’Neal, is here. YAY!!! We love Mr. O’Neal and are blessed that he and his wife, Karla, and their two girls, Journey and Story, moved all the way from Texas to be a part of our PAES family!!! They are settling into life in the Pacific Northwest and we’re so glad they are here. Mr. O’Neal is so happy to be part of PAES and he is looking forward to getting to know everyone! If you haven’t met him yet, stop in and say hello… if he’s not in his office, you’ll find him helping out in classrooms or in the halls with the kids. Mr. O’Neal is dedicated to the students and teachers – he loves being a part of the action!

In the Early Elementary wing we’ve added a blended Kindergarten/1st grade.  Karin Swarner has moved from the 5th grade to teach this new class. Ms. Swarner has been hard at work making her new classroom a welcoming and inspiring space ready for learning, fun and growth for all her students. Ms. Swarner is an incredible educator with many years of experience teaching the younger grades; she joins our fabulous group of Preschool and Early Elementary teachers: Teacher Sandie, Mrs. Gainer, Mrs. Neely and Mrs. Stinson. Pop over to their wing and see all the fun and amazing things going on in each classroom!!! 

With Ms. Swarner teaching the K/1st class we have a new 5th grade teacher, Elizabeth Fresse. She’s excited to be at PAES and looking forward to a fun and inspiring year!!! Mrs. Fresse and her family (her husband, Juan, and their 5 kids) just moved to Oregon from Arkansas. We are thrilled they are part of our school and we can’t wait for you all to get to know them! Welcome to the Panther Pack, Fresse family!!! 

Kevin McCray Jr. joins PAES as the new Athletic Director. With a background in both sports and management he brings a strong sense of leadership with him. Coach McCray is full of Panther Pride already and the year is just beginning… he lights up the room wherever he goes and brings fun and purpose with him. Stop in and meet Coach McCray, give him a warm PAES Panther Pride welcome!!! Fun fact: Coach McCray’s wife, Drechelle, is PAES alumni. 

The Middle School community has some changes too… first off, this year we’ve incorporated the 7th and 8th grades into two blended classes. While this definitely shakes things up, it’s a change that was carefully considered and planned so we can best serve these two large grades. We want the absolute best for each student and family. 

Joining the Middle School team is Heather Ashlock. She is excited to be offering a brand new elective class to the line-up: Communications & Publishing. Mrs. Ashlock has a background in copy editing, content development and marketing. Mrs. Ashlock will also be teaching the Art elective as well as classroom Art for the younger grades. Mrs. Ashlock loves writing and design. On any given day, you’ll find her in knee deep in editing projects, paper, paint or fine tuning the school’s website… stop by her room and say hello anytime!

Our Home & School Organization is bustling with ideas activity and energy! Kim McKennett and Sarah Hunter stepped up to co-lead and they are off to the races!!! They are hard at work brainstorming and planning for an incredible year ahead. A big thank you to all the parents and grandparents who came to our end of summer planning session in August, we had a great first meeting… stay tuned for information about when Home & School meetings will take place, how you can get involved and what you can do to be a part of the fun. Thank you Kim and Sarah for taking a leap of faith and jumping right in… you gals are awesome!!!

That about wraps things up… what a happy whirlwind of exciting news, phew! We’re off to a GREAT start this year and looking forward to all that God has in store. Welcome back to school everyone – cheers to an awesome year!!! 

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