The Stillwater Board of Education approved two new principals in a special meeting on April 26. Long time Stillwater administrators Joy Cawood and Dane Sallaska have been appointed as the principals for Richmond and Will Rogers Elementary Schools, respectively.
Since 2012 Joy Cawood has served the district in a variety of roles – Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Instructional Coach, and Assistant Principal at Richmond, Assistant Principal at Skyline, Technology Integration Coordinator for the district, and Principal of the Stillwater Pioneer Virtual Academy.
Cawood is a Stillwater High School graduate, with bachelor’s degrees from Oklahoma State in History and Education as well as a masters in Curriculum and Leadership Studies. Cawood and spouse, Chad have both lived in Stillwater all of their lives and have two children, Caris and Marin in the district.
“It is an absolute honor to be named Richmond’s newest principal,” says Cawood. “As a first grade student at Richmond on the day it opened, I know what a special place it is. My teachers from those years had an incredible impact on my journey, and I still hold such fond memories of them and days spent at Richmond as a student. I’ve also had the joy of being a staff member and working alongside the teachers, families, and students that call Richmond home today. It’s a wonderful place with a rich tradition.”
Richmond’s current principal Kendra Rider will step into a part time assistant principal role in order to spend more time with her family and says she’s happy to have the opportunity to remain to help provide consistency at Richmond. Rider and Cawood worked together as principal and assistant principal for two years.
“I’m also beyond thrilled to have Mrs. Rider alongside me as she has provided tremendous leadership to Richmond and great friendship to me. We work so well together and share a passion for celebrating our wonderful school,” says Cawood.
Dane Sallaska returns to Stillwater Public Schools after a brief stint as an administrator in Ponca City. “Ponca City is a sensational community, filled with wonderful students and educators. It is incredibly difficult to walk away from families and colleagues whom I have grown to love, but I am blessed to come home to Stillwater. I am proud and honored to be a Will Rogers Mustang. I am ecstatic to develop life-long relationships with our students and staff.”
Sallaska has worked for SPS since 2007. He served at Westwood Elementary for twelve years, working eight years as a teacher and four as an assistant principal. Sallaska also served as an assistant principal at Stillwater Junior High for two years prior to becoming the principal of Roosevelt Elementary School in Ponca City.
A Beaver High School graduate, Sallaska received his elementary education degree from Oklahoma State University and his masters in education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He is currently working toward his EdD at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He and his wife Jody have two children, Ella and Hilton, who attend Stillwater Public Schools.
“I’m blessed beyond measure to be afforded such an exceptional opportunity,” says Sallaska. “I am tremendously excited for our community to be made fully aware of the rich diversity and excellence which lives within our school.
Interim Superintendent Gay Washington says she’s very pleased to have these two outstanding employees in their new roles. “What a ‘joy’ it is to have Mrs. Cawood stepping into this role at the elementary school she attended,” she says, “and we welcome Mr. Sallaska back with great enthusiasm!”
“We had a strong pool of candidates for these positions and I was delighted when I found out that these two had applied for these roles,” Washington says. “It’s so great when educators are able to continue to grow and expand their professional horizons in our community.”