After 31 years as an educator, Mark Twain Middle School Principal Les Keele has decided it’s time to retire. He was a classroom teacher for 25 years and an administrator for six years, including three years at Mark Twain Middle School.
Keele, 55, announced his plans to retire at the Silver Falls School District board meeting in December. He will stay on as principal until June.
“I thank the Silver Falls School District for the giving me the opportunity to be the administrator at Mark Twain,” Keele said. “I thank the community for their children and allowing me to work with them. I have made some wonderful friendships while here and I look forward to continuing those friendships.”
Keele said multiple factors led him to retire, including he has tried for five years to sell his home in Bend and having to pay rent on a home in Silverton and a mortgage on his home in Bend has become a hardship. Both he and his wife’s parents need more care and he said they would like to provide it. He hopes to teach part-time when he returns to Bend.
Silver Falls School District Assistant Superintendent Eric Swenson will facilitate hiring a new Mark Twain principal. The position – which is open to both in-district and out-of-district candidates – will be posted in late January.
Silver Falls Superintendent Andy Bellando said interviews will occur the last week of February.
“Eric will work with a team from Mark Twain to do initial interviewing. A board member may be on this group as well,” Bellando said. “This group will provide two to three recommended candidates for me to interview.”
Bellando said he will make a selection in early March with a recommendation for the board at its March 14 meeting.
Keele said he has enjoyed working and living in Silverton.
“The Mark Twain staff is great and I’ve enjoyed working for them,” Keele said. ”