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Bellview Elementary School principal lands job in Coos Bay

for the Mail Tribune

ASHLAND — Just weeks after learning she would be laid off this month because of budget cuts, Bellview Elementary School Principal Christine McCollom has found a new job as principal of an elementary school in Coos Bay.

Last month school officials and Bellview parents begged the district to save McCollom's job, calling her a beloved principal and a believer in the Bellview model of education. Community members grew especially angry after Superintendent Juli Di Chiro announced that the layoff was decided by the drawing of lots in her office — with only Di Chiro and another administrator present.

Beginning Aug. 1, McCollom will serve as principal at Bunker Hill Elementary School in Coos Bay, according to Meg Wright, office manager at Bellview.

Di Chiro, who announced that McCollom had found a job at Monday's school board meeting, said McCollom had nabbed one of only two job openings for elementary school principals in the state.

"Congratulations to Christine," Di Chiro said.

But searching for a job isn't the only thing that has kept McCollom busy. On Friday, she gave birth to a son, her second with her husband, Mike.

McCollom could not be reached for comment. She will be out of the office for much of this week — the last week of school — but will attend some Bellview events to say goodbye to students, parents and teachers, Wright said.

McCollom will be missed at Bellview, Wright added.

"We're sad to see her go, because we've really enjoyed having her," she said. "She's a great principal."

McCollom, who served as Bellview's principal for three years, will be replaced by senior administrator Michelle Zundel, whose current position as director of education is being eliminated.

Hannah Guzik is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach her at 482-3456, ext. 226, or at hguzik@dailytidings.com.