Forks Elementary School Principal Lisa Navarro will soon say goodbye to rainy Forks and hello to sunny Arizona.
Prescott, Ariz., to be specific. She notes it’s a mountain town — 5,000 feet — so it isn’t as hot as much of the desert state.
She’s also saying goodbye to the office and returning to the classroom.
“It’s what I prefer,” she said. “It’s time for me to get back with the kids and make a difference in their lives.”
She said running a school with almost 500 students, plus 65 education professionals, plus a staff of maintenance and other workers has been stressful, but also “incredibly rewarding.”
Navarro is proud of the accomplishments that she and her staff have achieved. She said through hard work, and by smartly utilizing data, they have together made “huge improvements” in the performance of the 486 students at the school.
She added that she’s enjoyed the many smiles and hugs she’s received along the way.
“This is a very huggable community,” she said.
Navarro arrived in Forks in a roundabout way. She grew up on the East Coast, then moved to Alaska. From there she migrated to Port Angeles, where she was a teacher for 13 years.
She took over as principal at Sedro-Woolley Elementary School for three years before taking the Forks job four years ago.
In recent days she’s been busy creating the game plan that will allow her replacement, whoever that may be, to hit the ground running.
“I want it to be turn-key,” she said. “The systems and protocols are in place to allow someone to continue to improve student performance.”