New Butte Creek principal off to a great start

Moving from high school assistant principal to elementary school principal is a big change and Therese Gerlits is dialing it in. Gerlits, who previously worked as assistant principal for Silverton High School is now leading Butte Creek Elementary as the new principal.

“We’ve heard from several parents and staff members who love having Ms. Gerlits at Butte Creek,” said Silver Falls School District Superintendent Andy Bellando. “When you can place a seasoned high school administrator into an elementary leadership position, you create a very strong K-12 continuum of understanding. It prepares kids to be more successful in high school because every teacher, at every grade level is the teacher of a Silverton High School graduate.”

Coming home

Gerlits’s new role is especially powerful because she is a Butte Creek alumni herself.

“I have this feeling of coming home,” said Gerlits. “It’s fun having a shared history with some of the parents and staff. Bob Proctor was a bus driver when I was in school and now he asks me how my grandparents are doing!”

Working together 

According to Gerlits, the school year got off to a challenging start when the final stages of seismic construction caused a slight delay and students started school a few days late. Thanks to a great partnership with the construction crew, flexible staff, understanding families, and helpful volunteers, the school was on track quickly.

“I have to give huge credit to everyone for their great hearts, flexibility, and sense of humor,” said Gerlits. “The staff are amazing and the kids are great.”

A few surprises for Gerlits in her transition from high school to elementary school include band-aids and lunch with the principal.

“Band-aids are very important to younger kiddos and lunch in my office is a pretty popular event! Those are things we don’t encounter much in high school,” said Gerlits.