Two long-time BGPS teachers, administrators set to retireLinda Allen and Laurie Sundby

Two Battle Ground educators who have served the district for a combined total of 53 years are retiring in June. Linda Allen and Laurie Sundby both started out as substitutes with Battle Ground Public Schools in the early 1990s, and both advanced in their roles over the past three decades as they served students and provided steady leadership.

Linda Allen (pictured on the left in the above image) is retiring as the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources. After working for a year as a substitute teacher in 1992-93, Allen transitioned to a full-time teaching role at Amboy Middle School. At Amboy, she taught mostly sixth grade until 2001 when she became the assistant principal at Lewisville Middle School. Three years later, Allen became the principal at Lewisville and remained there until Chief Umtuch Middle first opened its doors in 2008. Allen remained Chief’s principal until 2010 when she accepted her current role working in human resources. Now that she’s set to retire, Allen is looking forward to spending more time with her 10 grandchildren, who range from ages 9 to 20, traveling, and tending to her garden.

Laurie Sundby (pictured on the right in the above image) is retiring as the district’s director of instructional leadership for primary schools. Sundby got her start with BGPS as a substitute in both basic education and special education assistant roles. By 1992, she had become a second and fourth grade teacher at Maple Grove, where she remained for several years before becoming an administrator. After taking the assistant principal job at Captain Strong Primary, Sundby would serve in several other administrative roles. She was the principal at Captain Strong for three years, a planning principal at the district office for two years, and was the principal of Tukes Valley Primary from when it first opened in 2008 until she transferred to her current role in 2014. Now that she’s retiring, Sundby looks forward to traveling across North America with her husband in their travel trailer. Beginning this July, the Sundbys will embark on a tour of National Parks, including Glacier National Park in Montana and Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

Both Allen and Sundby have been active members of the Lewis River Rotary Club for the past 6-7 years, and they will be tremendously missed by everyone who has had the pleasure of working with them over the years. Best of luck in your retirement Linda and Laurie!

Battle Ground Public Schools announces other administrative changes for the 2019-20 school year, including principals, assistant principals and directors. The administrators will begin their new positions July 1.


Andrea Sperry will be the new principal of Maple Grove Primary (Maple Grove K-8 will become a primary school after this year as part of district boundary changes to help accommodate growth). Sperry replaces Michelle Reinhardt, who is moving to the district office. Sperry is currently an associate principal at Jefferson Middle School in the Vancouver Public Schools district.

Ben Ziegler is the new assistant principal at Maple Grove Primary School. Ziegler replaces Lucinda Bancroft, who is transitioning into a new role as an instructional coach. Prior to accepting the position as Maple Grove’s new assistant principal, Ziegler was the Dean of Students at Prairie High School.

Craig Pearson will be the new principal at Pleasant Valley Primary School. Pearson is replacing Mike Michaud, who is moving to the district office. Pearson served as PVP’s assistant principal during the 2018-19 school year.

Kara Kent will be the new assistant principal of Pleasant Valley Primary School, replacing Pearson. Kent is currently an assistant principal at Glenwood Heights Primary and Laurin Middle schools.

Stephanie Watts will be the principal of Prairie High School. Watts has been serving as the interim principal at PHS this school year. Previously, Watts was an assistant principal at PHS.

Travis Drake will be the principal at Laurin Middle School, where he has been serving as the interim principal. Prior to accepting the principal position at Laurin Middle School, Drake was the principal at Prairie High School.

Eric Sakshaug will be the assistant principal at Laurin Middle School, where he has been serving in the interim. Previously, Sakshaug was Battle Ground High School’s Dean of Students.

Jessica Drake will be Battle Ground High School’s Dean of Students. Drake has been in the position on an interim basis this year. Previously she was a Career and Technical Education teacher at BGHS.

Erin Thompson will be an assistant principal of Prairie High School. Thompson is taking over the role previously held by Watts. Thompson previously worked as an assistant principal at both Laurin and Tukes Valley middle schools.

Matt Kesler will be the assistant principal of River HomeLink. Kesler replaces Darlene Wilgus, who is transitioning into a part-time role focused on growing the district’s online learning program as she prepares to retire at the end of the 2019-20 school year. Prior to being the assistant principal at River, Kesler was the principal at Laurin Middle School and assistant principal at Chief Umtuch Middle School.

District Administrators

Shelly Whitten, current Director of Human Resources for the BGPS district, will be the new Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Whitten replaces Linda Allen, who is retiring in June.
Michelle Reinhardt, the current principal of Maple Grove K-8, will take over as the Director of Human Resources for Shelly Whitten.

Mike Michaud is the district’s new Director of Instructional Leadership at the primary level. Michaud is replacing Laurie Sundby, who is retiring in June. Michaud was previously the principal at Pleasant Valley Primary School.

Kellie Clay (not pictured) will be the new assistant director of special services. Clay is taking over for Annie Lamberto, who has accepted a job opportunity outside of the district. Prior to accepting the assistant director position, Clay was the director of special programs for the Astoria School District.

New Administrators for the 2019-20 school year

Top row, L to R: Michelle Reinhardt, Matt Kesler, Travis Drake, Jessica Drake, Andrea Sperry, and Stephanie Watts. Bottom row, L to R: Shelly Whitten, Mike Michaud, Craig Pearson, Eric Sakshaug, Kara Kent, Ben Ziegler, and Erin Thompson.


icon 11104 N.E. 149th Street,
Brush Prairie, WA 98606

iconP.O. Box 200
Battle Ground, WA 98604



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