Trisha Roach celebrates in front of Tonasket High School.

TONASKET – Longtime Okanogan School District teacher and librarian Trisha Roach has been named principal of Tonasket High School.

Roach’s employment was approved June 12 by the Tonasket School Board.

She succeeds Brian Ellis, who resigned May 29 and was hired as high school career and technical education teacher.

Tonasket Superintendent Steve McCullough said Roach should be a great addition “and is already working – a lot.”

Ellis will take an unfilled career and technical education position and is expected to teach agriculture and horticulture classes. Ag teacher Matt Deebach is expected to continue with shop-based classes.

Enrollment in those areas “is bursting at the seams,” he said.

Okanogan Superintendent Ashley Goetz said she expects Roach’s resignation will be accepted during the Okanogan School Board meeting at 6 tonight, June 26, in the district office, 115 Rose St.

Toni Brown has been recommended to succeed Roach as secondary librarian. Brown received her library media endorsement in 2018.

“Trisha will be a great addition to the Tonasket School District,” said Goetz, who said Roach’s departure from Okanogan is bittersweet.

“We support her decision wholeheartedly, but also know there will be big shoes to fill for those coming in behind her. She wore too many hats to name in the Okanogan School District and for that, we are grateful.”

Roach taught high school and middle school English for several years before becoming secondary librarian. She also has been drama club adviser, cheerleading coach, associated student body adviser, and newspaper and annual adviser. She has worked in Okanogan since fall 2004.

This spring she was one of 11 candidates for the Okanogan Middle School principal position, which was vacated at the end of the 2018-19 school year when Brett Baum took the Liberty School District superintendent’s position.

“I look at this new opportunity with great hope and promise,” said Bradley in a Facebook post. “My heart is huge with the acceptance and strong support I’ve already received from my new Tonasket family, and I’m eager to face our future challenges and celebrations together.”

She said she will miss Okanogan.

“My love for the students, staff and community is unwavering, and I know that these past 15 years are the foundation of the principal I will be,” she continued. “Thank you for the unconditional support, and the push to keep growing and dreaming. Thank you for the friendship and mentorship. Thank you for nurturing the leader in me and opening up these doors.”

McCullough said a number of principals statewide are returning to the classroom in the wake of teacher pay increases granted by the Legislature. The pay gap between administrative and teaching positions has lessened, making classroom spots attractive to some administrators.

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