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Associate Principal Katrina Riippa

Katrina Riippa, Associate Principal

Katrina Riippa achieved her Washington State administrator's certificate in 2020 after 17 years as a teacher at the Katrina secondary level. 

Though raised in Salem, OR, Katrina attended college in Illinois with the intention of earning a degree in Pre-Med Biology. --She graduated with degrees in Studio Art and English! Upon returning to the Pacific Northwest, she enrolled in a Master's in Teaching program near her parent's home in Port Townsend, Washington. Her passion for teaching was solidified when she began student teaching at the middle school level. --What better way to improve the world than by educating young people to be conscientious problem-solvers?

From 2003-2021, Katrina taught (mostly 7th and 8th grade) in a variety of environments-- from a middle school in Brooklyn, NY, with 1000+ students to a rural school in western Washington with only 350 students, grades K-12. While the majority of her teaching was at the middle school level, she stayed connected to high school events and culture through coaching positions (Cheer, Track and Basketball), youth group leadership, and her principal internship, where she spent time at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle and Sequoia High School in Everett. 

Katrina's interest in becoming a school administrator stemmed from a tragic event that gave her a new perspective on-- and understanding of -- the importance of strong, positive, thoughtful school leadership. Her philosophy surrounding leadership is that it is the administrators' role to consider the school holistically, providing an environment where (to the greatest degree possible) a sense of safety and certainty is paramount.  In a place where students feel safe, they are better equipped to learn, develop positive relationships, and gain a greater sense of self, which will prepare them to enter the "real world" with confidence.  It's not the school's job to make life "easy" for students, but to provide them with the skills, resources, and supports to tackle challenges as they arise.

Katrina has quickly grown to love Oak Harbor High School and the members of the Oak Harbor community. Oak Harbor High School's career preparation programs, enthusiastic teaching staff, and caring administrative team are all aspects of this school that make her proud to be a Wildcat!