New Principals Hired for Rock Creek and Pillar Falls Elementary Schools

The Twin Falls School District Board of Trustees is pleased to announce Shari Cowger as the new principal at Rock Creek Elementary School and Nancy Murphy as the new principal at Pillar Falls Elementary School. The new positions are on the docket for approval at the Monday, Jan. 11 board meeting, 7 p.m. at CRHS.

Rock Creek and Pillar Falls Elementary Schools will be open for school in the fall of 2016. The new school buildings were funded by the 73.8 million dollar bond levy approved by the community in March of 2014. These new principals were hired before the normal hiring season to help with planning and other work to be completed before the schools open in the fall.

Staffing teachers and other staff will be one of the first projects these new principals will take on. The TFSD currently employees roughly 500 certified teachers. Over the last few years, the district has increased the number of teachers it employs to keep up with student enrollment growth. Some teachers will be moving from their current school to one of the new schools. The district plans to hire roughly 12 new teachers. In addition the district will be hiring support staff, such as food service, custodial, and secretarial employees, for the new schools.

New elementary and middle school attendance zones are also in the works for the growing district. The school board will hear a revised proposal from the rezoning committee at Monday’s board meeting.

Shari Cowger has been the principal at Oregon Trail for the past 6 years. She has worked in the Twin Falls School District as the vice principal at Oregon Trail and Perrine Elementary Schools for two years, music teacher at Oregon Trail and Lincoln, and the Migrant and Idaho Reading Indicator Summer School principal for a combined 8 years. Prior to coming to Twin Falls, Shari taught in Iowa and attended Northwest Missouri State in Maryville. Shari has a master’s degree in education administration for University of Idaho.

When asked what attracted her to the principal position at the new schools Shari said, “I’m excited for the challenge. While I love my current staff, students, and families, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to create a new school culture and educational atmosphere for parents, teachers, and students.”

Nancy Murphy currently serves the TFSD as the associate principal at Sawtooth and Perrine Elementary Schools. A long time educator, Nancy has worked in Twin Falls as an instructional coach and first grade teacher at Oregon Trail. Prior to joining the TFSD, Nancy taught kindergarten, first, and second grades in South Carolina, second grade in Utah, and fourth and second grades in Filer.

Nancy graduated from University of Utah with a teaching degree and Utah State and Idaho State with master’s degrees.

When asked what she looks forward to Nancy said, “It’s an exciting time in our district and I’m happy to be a part of it. It’s a great opportunity and a big challenge. I look forward to working with a new staff to start from the ground level to build a learning community.”

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