Sequim selects new principal for Helen Haller


Sequim Gazette staff

From Big Sky country to the Blue Hole.


Russ Lodge, a school administrator with 32 years working in Montana schools, is Sequim’s choice for the next principal at Helen Haller Elementary School.


The Sequim School Board was expected to approve his hiring at its May 22 regular meeting.


Lodge has served as principal at Hellgate High School in Missoula, Mont., for the past three years.


He was principal at C.M. Russell Elementary in Missoula from 2000-2009.


“My wife and I are pretty excited about this,” Lodge told The Missoulian last week, taking a break from sharing the news with his staff and colleagues.


“My wife was born and raised here, I’ve lived my entire adult life here and our kids are gone,” Lodge told the newspaper. “We thought, ‘Let’s go somewhere else and do something else.’”


Lodge worked 22 years with Missoula County Public Schools, 10 as a classroom teacher and a dozen as administrator/principal.


Before that, he worked for 10 years in the Target Range School District (also in Missoula) as an administrator/principal. He began his education career as a fifth-grade teacher in Belgrade, Mont., in 1977.


He spent 18 years (1988-2006) with the National Youth Sports Program through the University of Montana, serving as liaison officer, enrichment specialist and activities director.


Lodge’s “first day” as Haller principal is July 1.


The Montana native takes over for Patra Boots, who was principal at Helen Haller from 2010-2012, along with assuming the school district’s director of technology position. Boots was shifted to vocational programs director — while keeping her director of technology responsibilities — earlier this school year.


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