Message from the Principal

  • Otto Petersen students and families,

    I am so honored to be the new principal of Otto Petersen Elementary. From the warm welcome that I have received from school board members, fellow administrators, teachers, staff, and families, I can tell that Scappoose School District is a special place. Working with some of the staff over the past few days, the commitment to the students of Petersen is clearly evident. I am so pleased that I will get to join this great team and help them to continue to do their amazing work.

    This summer, I am getting to know the building, learning about the traditions at Petersen, finalizing schedules, and becoming familiar with the improvement goals of the district and of the school. Through these prioritized goals, I can see that emphasis is placed on seeing students for who they are, building a supportive environment where all students can thrive, and continuing to set high academic expectations for all learners. I come into this principal position with a rich and slightly unusual history of teaching. I spent over thirty years as a martial arts instructor, many years coaching soccer, a few years as an educational assistant, and about 11 years as a teacher. I came into teaching in the educational system later in life. My husband and I have three children, a daughter who just graduated from medical school and twin boys who just turned 25. One of my sons experiences exceptional challenges and has required special education. I wanted to know how best to support him and went back to school to earn my teaching license with a focus on Special Education. That decision opened the door to working with amazing students and families and collaborating with gifted teachers, who helped me grow as an educator. Later, I was given opportunities to take on more responsibilities in my building and at the district level. Now my passion lies in supporting teachers and families as they work together to develop environments where students can learn and develop both academically and as a whole child.

    I look forward to meeting all of you and learning about the hopes and dreams you have for your children. I have an open-door policy, so please reach out if you have concerns or want to share positive experiences. I will frequently be communicating using a newsletter that will be distributed via social media and our school website. Together, let’s make the 2022-23 school year a fantastic experience for our students!

    Anita Hansen