OSSA Recognizes 2016 Administrator of the Year

Release Date: 
06/22/2016

Rockaway Beach, OR – The Oregon Small Schools Association (OSSA) is proud to announce Kristi Woika as its 2016 Administrator of the Year.

Woika is the principal at Nehalem Elementary School in Nehalem, Oregon. The school is part of the Neah-Kah-Nie School District, which encompasses schools in Rockaway Beach, Nehalem and Garibaldi. Woika has been the principal and Title 1 director at the school since 2010 and was the Neah-Kah-Nie High School principal from 2002 to 2010.

During her tenure at Nehalem Elementary, the school was designated a Model School for the 2014-2015 school year by the Oregon Department of Education – meaning in the top 5% of Title 1 schools. Nehalem Elementary also earned a Level 5 on the most recent Oregon State Report Card.

Woika has developed many successful programs at her school. These include swimming lessons, childcare and after-school activities through North County Recreation District, increasing opportunities for professional development for staff, a Book Bag program, Family Fun Nights, promoting technology in the classroom, mentoring aspiring principals and supporting funding for a district-wide preschool program and elementary literacy coach. Woika and other volunteer coaches started a program called SHE Warriors (Sharing Health through Exercise) five years ago for 4th and 5th Grade girls. SHE Warriors is a running club, but members also learn about nutrition, relationship building, volunteering, self-advocacy and goal setting.

Paul Erlebach, superintendent of the Neah-Kah-Nie School District, describes Woika as a strong leader who understands how a principal of a small school can have a big impact on students and families. “I cannot think of any small school administrator more deserving of such a prestigious award. Kristi has the integrity, leadership and proven student achievement to receive this award,” Erlebach said.

The Oregon Small Schools Association (OSSA) recognizes one school administrator each year who excels in his/her leadership position. Criteria include integrity, leadership, commitment to community, scholarship and student achievement. As the 2016 OSSA Administrator of the Year, Principal Woika will “put a face on rural education in Oregon” by sharing her story as a principal of a rural elementary school. Woika will receive her award at the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) Conference at Seaside on June 24.

Oregon Small Schools Association serves as an advocate for the benefits of rural education and small schools across the state.