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Bend’s Weddel named Oregon HS Principal of Year


Bend Senior High School Principal H.D. Weddel was named Oregon’s 2014 High School Principal of the Year in front of a packed, cheering auditorium of students and staff Thursday afternoon.

“I just felt a lot of love, I was humbled and excited, really, I felt loved,” Weddel said later.

Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton and Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Ron Wilkinson made the surprise announcement.

“H.D. is one of the most impactful, inspirational, and humble leaders whom I know,” Wilkinson said. “Bend Senior High School has excelled under his leadership over the past five years.”

“I don’t know if I’m the best principal in Oregon, and I’m not sure if I’m the best principal in our district or in our building,” Weddel said. “I’m very very humbled.”

“For him to get this award, I feel like everyone has a piece of it with them,” Bend High senior Annie Beaver said. “It just represents Bend High and how really great it is to go to school her,e and what we’ve created here is amazing.”

The Confederation of Oregon School Administrator’s Principal of the Year program recognizes outstanding principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.

“H.D. leads with his heart and soul. He cares immensely for the success of every single student at Bend High,” Wilkinson added. “When he was selected as principal, we knew that he would grow a culture of incredible relationships between teachers and students. He has exceeded our expectations with his leadership in curriculum, instruction and the use of assessment results.”

Wilkinson noted that Bend Senior High students have shown steady gains based on every measure of academic achievement during Weddel’s tenure.

“Bend Senior High’s reading and math achievement on OAKS is up; their graduation rate increase was spotlighted by the Oregon Department of Education this spring; their student growth results are up; and their college readiness results are up,” Wilkinson said. “And they were named one of the top Oregon high schools by US News & World Report last spring. Amazing things are taking place at Bend Senior High.”

Weddel’s award is the fifth of its kind for the district in the last five years. Bruce Reynolds (RE Jewell Elementary) was named Oregon’s Elementary Principal of the Year in 2010, Jay Mathisen (La Pine High) was named Oregon’s High School Principal of the Year in 2011, John Rexford was named Outstanding School Business Official in 2011, and Ron Wilkinson was named Oregon’s Superintendent of the Year in 2012.

Weddel will assume a role with Oregon State University at the end of the school year. Chris Reese, current assistant principal, will become Bend Senior High School’s principal on July 1.

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