Pamela Zaklan, principal of Wilson Elementary School in Medford, has been selected as the National Distinguished Principal for Oregon by the Oregon Elementary Principals Association.

Pamela Zaklan, principal of Wilson Elementary School in Medford, has been selected as the National Distinguished Principal for Oregon by the Oregon Elementary Principals Association.

The honor brings with it an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the National Elementary Principals Association conference in October and a plaque.

Griffin Creek Elementary School Principal Ginny Hicks, who received the same honor in 2006, nominated Zaklan for the award.

"She is a very experienced principal who has done a lot of amazing things over the years," said Hicks, who has known Zaklan for 18 years, ever since Hicks was hired by the Medford School District.

Zaklan piloted the Opportunity Classroom, a short-term intervention for kids with behavioral problems, which was later implemented throughout the school district.

Zaklan served as the Southern Oregon representative for the Oregon Elementary Principals Association for three years. Her term ended this month.

Hicks said Zaklan helps foster a sense of community at the school by making sure at least one community event is held every month.

Zaklan started working in the school district as a secretary while she was studying to become a teacher.

She also worked as a campus monitor, education assistant and teacher before becoming a principal.