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Vancouver Public Schools creates 4 jobs to aid diversity, equity, inclusion initiative

Vancouver Public Schools announced the creation of four new positions it says will expand the district’s recently announced diversity, equity and inclusion initiative.

Janell Ephraim, currently the principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, will step into a new role as the district’s chief equity officer, overseeing the district’s vision on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Steve Vance, the current principal at Hough Elementary School, was named the district’s new special services compliance manager. Vance will oversee the district’s special education programs to ensure services comply with state and federal law.

Rachel Cason, currently the student success coordinator in the student welfare and attendance office, will become education ombudsman. Cason will develop programs that support students and families.

The district will also hire an assistant general counsel, though a person has not yet been identified for that position.

Vancouver Public Schools this year announced a renewed focus on equity and inclusion in light of ongoing civil rights activism around the country. In the spring, the district announced an audit of policies to determine where district practices fail marginalized students.

The district came under fire last year after the Washington Attorney General’s Office found the district was suspending and expelling some students of color and students with disabilities at disproportionately high rates.

The district also announced other administrative changes:

  • Adley Copeland, currently the principal at Washington Elementary School, will replace Ephraim as principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.
  • Stoney Myers, currently the associate principal at McLoughlin Middle School, will be the new principal at Washington Elementary School.
  • Sara Tackett, currently the associate principal at Peter S. Ogden Elementary School, will be associate principal at McLoughlin Middle School.
  • Kelly Mainka, currently a teacher on special assignment in curriculum and instruction, will be the new associate principal at Ogden Elementary School.
  • Jessica Graham, currently the associate principal at George C. Marshall and Walnut Grove elementary schools, will replace Vance at Hough Elementary School.
  • Erick Hoffarth, currently a half-time associate principal at Hough Elementary School, will take on a half-time associate principal role at Marshall Elementary School.
  • Matt Greco, currently a technology learning coach, will replace Zach Desjarlais as director of instructional technology. Desjarlais is leaving the district.
  • Jon Proctor, director of analytics in government operations for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, will be the director of assessment and performance management.
  • Jeremy Tortora, currently the associate principal at Skyview High School, will move to Hudson’s Bay High School as associate principal.
  • Joseph Accuardi-Gilliam, currently the associate principal at Hudson’s Bay High School, will fill the associate principal position at Skyview High School.

All assignments must be approved by the school board.


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