New principals announced for Newbery and Washington

After a lengthy search and interview process, the Wenatchee School District is pleased to announce the hiring of two new elementary principals Janell Royster and Socorro Yañez. 

Royster, currently assistant principal at Orchard Middle School, will be the new leader at Washington Elementary. Royster brings a breadth of experience as both a teacher and school leader to this role, having served as an assistant principal at the middle and elementary levels, and as an MTSS coach and classroom teacher in the Wenatchee Valley and in the Vancouver area. 

“I am honored that Dr. Gordon, his cabinet, and the school board have confidence in me to take the principalship of a WSD elementary school,” said Royster of her appointment. “My passion is helping all students grow and learn by removing barriers and providing a safe and caring school and classroom. I have had the opportunity to grow as an administrator through the wonderful experiences I have had as a leader at Lincoln, Columbia, and Orchard. I look forward to building relationships with the students, staff, and families at Washington Elementary.”

Yañez, an instructional coach and MTSS Coordinator at Mission View Elementary, will fill the principal position at John Newbery Elementary. Yañez, a Wenatchee native, spent over 10 years as a bilingual elementary teacher before becoming an instructional coach. Yañez led the K-5 Migrant Summer School programs as assistant principal in 2020 and will continue to do so this summer.

Upon learning of his selection, Yañez said he was excited to serve as Newbery’s new principal.  “I am looking forward to building strong relationships with students, staff, and parents,” he explained. “Together, we will cultivate an inclusive school culture that is centered on the academic and social-emotional needs of all students.”

“We have great talent in our ranks. In each of these educators, we saw great leaders who we know will lead our elementary schools with purpose and work to improve outcomes for all students,” said Wenatchee School District Superintendent, Dr. Paul Gordon. 

Throughout this process, Wenatchee School District was looking for leaders who are highly effective at improving teaching and learning and are focused on the growth of students and staff. The District also values leaders who easily connect with parents, students, and staff, and who listen and problem solve. Both Royster and Yañez have demonstrated energy and passion to lead Washington and Newbery elementary schools forward. The two will begin their positions on July 1, 2021

School Board member, Maria Iñiguez, who also served on the interview team for the two open positions, acknowledged the hiring of Royster and Yañez shows the district's commitment to diversity. “It is important that all of our students see themselves in our administration and this is one step closer to the district's vision. I am thrilled that we found these talented administrators within our own district, both Socorro and Janell are dedicated educators that bring a wealth of knowledge to the job as well as passion for supporting students and staff,” she said.