Hispanic educator to lead Garrison


WALLA WALLA — A former Hispanic Educator of the Year has been named the new principal of Garrison Middle School.

The Walla Walla School Board unanimously approved hiring Roberto Elizondo on Friday as principal of Garrison starting July 1. Elizondo will replace current Garrison Principal Gina Yonts, who was recently named principal of Green Park Elementary.

Elizondo is currently principal of Riverside Junior/Senior High School in the Morrow County School District in Lexington, Ore., where he has worked about two years.

Elizondo spent a bulk of his career as a principal in Pasco, leading Stevens Middle School from 2004-10 and as principal on special assignment at Chiawana High School from 2010-11.

Before becoming a principal, Elizondo worked as a dean of students for Pasco High School, and assistant principal of McLoughlin Middle School.

Elizondo earned a bachelor’s in sociology from Central Washington University and a master’s in education and his administrative certificate from Heritage University.

He was named Hispanic Educator of the Year in 2003 and 2007 by the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and co-chaired the Tri-Cities Gang Prevention Task Force.

“Mr. Elizondo stood out in a very strong pool of candidates for the Garrison Middle School principal position,” said Superintendent Mick Miller in a statement. “He is an educator who truly loves kids, builds community and values the work of staff. I think he will be a great fit at Garrison and a wonderful addition to the district.”

Elizondo’s salary range is $92,988 to $108,664, according to a district news release.

The Walla Walla School District is still in the process of hiring an assistant principal for Garrison. Current Assistant Principal Brett Cox was recently named superintendent of the Prescott School District. The hiring process will be lead by Assistant Superintendent Laure Quaresma and conclude by the end of June.

During a special meeting Friday, the School Board also hired Ted Cohan as executive director for business services in the district’s administrative offices. Cohan will take over financial leadership from Patricia Johnston, who is retiring from the district June 30.

Cohan will oversee and manage the daily, monthly and annual business functions of the school district and assist the superintendent and district leadership team with personnel and labor relations, according to a district news release.

He will develop and monitor the district’s budget, account practices and internal controls while supervising the business office and performing other necessary financial, business and operational duties as assigned by the superintendent.

Cohan is currently vice president and senior portfolio manager for Baker Boyer Bank, where he has worked since 1999. He has been a certified financial planner for 10 years. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in finance from Colorado State University.

An active community members, Cohan is currently board president of the Walla Walla YMCA Board of Directors, and a presenter for Junior Achievement. He served as Explorer Parent Organization board president for four years and treasurer of the Prospect Point Parent Teacher Organization for two years.

Cohan’s salary range as the distirct’s executive director for business services is $100,512 to $108,318.

“The district is fortunate to be welcoming Ted Cohan to serve as its executive director for business services,” Miller said. “He has big shoes to fill following Pat Johnston, but I am confident in Ted’s financial background, as well as his knowledge of the school district and community. I am excited to have him join the district’s administrative team.”


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