SPRINGFIELD – Charlie Jett, Principal at Two Rivers/Dos Ríos Elementary was chosen as the Oregon principal of the year for the 2021-22 school year by the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA).
“Teaching is essential. Teaching is a necessity. Teaching is love,” Jett said. “It’s the root foundation necessary for our society to perpetuate anything we do. We impart our wisdom onto the next generation – and there is nothing more important than that.”
Every year, COSA accepts nominations and chooses someone to receive the Oregon Principal of the Year Award for elementary, middle and high school levels. This year, they chose Jett in the elementary category. Jett will be formally awarded the honor at next month’s annual COSA conference.
PHOTO PROVIDED – From left: Dr. Emilio Hernandez, Vice Chair, Springfield School Board; David Collins, assistant superintendent; Krista Parent, director of executive leadership and licensure, Coalition of School Administrators; Todd Hamilton, superintendent; Charlie Jett, principal, Two Rivers/Dos Ríos Elementary; Joyce Smith-Johnson, director of elementary education, Springfield Schools; Naomi Raven, board chair, Springfield School Board; Todd Mann, director, Springfield School Board; Kelly Mason, director, Springfield School Board; and Jonathan Light, director; Springfield School Board.
“Charlie Jett exemplifies dedication to student support. Whether it is creating a video production to support school PBIS goals, building out robust professional development for staff, or his exceptional color-coded organizational skills, we as a district and Springfield as a community are grateful for his devotion,” said Todd Hamilton, Springfield Superintendent.
Jett is a native of Wheaton, Ill., who said he never thought he’d end up as a principal – he first had the idea when teaching summer theater programs. His favorite musical is West Side Story, and he attributes his unique teaching style to his love of theater. “My theatrical background helps to build a positive school culture where kids feel like they belong. I believe in creating an atmosphere that encourages positivity that keeps them dreaming and curious – thinking anything is possible,” Jett said.
Mr. Jett’s youtube page is a favorite among students, and was a key way to stay connected during the past two years of the pandemic. He produced weekly videos and newsletters in English and Spanish. He put together over 100 “read-aloud” videos for his students. And he even hosted facebook live challenges, where lucky students were able to instruct his own children on how to “cut his hair,” “shave his head,” or choose what ingredients to “pie him in the face with.” During lockdown, he dressed up as Han Solo, coined the school the “starship of learning” and the “USS otterprize” and went on adventures with the school’s mascot.