Lillian Page is the new principal at Vaughn Elementary School this year. Photo: Carolyn Wiley, KP News

Lillian Page started as the new principal at Vaughn Elementary School this month. She is no stranger since she’s already been the dean of students there for three years.

Page described Vaughn as a fun, creative, flourishing environment and said, “I am there to serve the community and enhance the school’s growth.” Her goals for the new school year are “to be visible, to continue to grow the connections between the Vaughn community and the school itself” and to “maintain a positive school climate that will maximize student success.”

Over the years, Page realized the Vaughn community is very supportive and contributes to the welcoming environment. Part of the depth of parent support is a result of the efforts of the PTA to recruit members and to engage parents in planning and working together for the benefit of the students, she said.

“I got into teaching because I had positive experiences in schools and had teachers who inspired me,” Page said. She began her teaching career at age 15 as a gymnastics instructor. She earned her undergraduate degree in education at the University of Washington where she was part of the cheer team when they won a fourth place ranking in national competition.

Before arriving in the Peninsula School District, Page taught in Mukilteo, Federal Way and Steilacoom where she taught fourth and fifth grades while earning her credentials in administration at UW Tacoma. She then taught at Harbor Heights before moving to Vaughn.

“I always felt Peninsula School District had great character,” she said. “Students are the focus; they always come first. It was the district I wanted to be in.”

As the dean of students at Vaughn, Page’s responsibilities included student discipline, acting as counselor, attendance monitor and evaluator of classified staff. She also matched students with staff members to check in with them daily, so students would have a reliable adult to turn to in a time of need.

Page expressed appreciation to Susan O’Leary—the former principal at Vaughn—for her mentorship in preparation for the new challenges ahead.

“I want everyone to be their best,” Page said. “I like the big picture—I like seeing the whole system. I feel confident in my instructional skills and feel that I can help both teachers and students become their best selves.”

Page has two young children. Her daughter is pre-school age and her son will be attending kindergarten at Vaughn. “I am excited to have my children be a part of such a fantastic school district,” she said.

Page is enthusiastic about the year ahead. “I am a life-long learner,” she said. “I like to learn. Like to be challenged. I like the piece of being able to learn every day.”

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