Director of Professional Learning
John Wiseman has served as an educator and administrator in the Othello School district since 2003. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University. He then went on to earn his Master in Teaching and Principal Administrative Certificate from Washington State University. John began his educational career as a 3rd grade teacher at Hiawatha Elementary. Since that time, John has had the opportunity to serve as a K-5 Math Coach, Dean of Students, Director of Assessments and Curriculum, and Elementary Principal. He has actively participated on a variety of school and district leadership committees, including District and School Improvement Committees, the Technology Advisory Committee, and most recently the Harlem Children Zone Parent and Community team. While he has had the opportunity to work in a variety of roles within our district, he has never forgotten why he initially decided to be an educator – to help children succeed in life and reach their full potential. John is excited for the opportunity to serve as the Director of Professional Learning and for the chance to work with, and support, educators across the district.
Director of Data and Innovation
Justin Johnson will support the district as the Director of Data and Innovations. He has been an educator and administrator in the Othello for almost 15 years. He first joined the Othello School District as a 5th grade teacher in the fall of 2003 and has since spent time in the classroom at various grade levels, as a computer lab specialist, an ELL specialist, an instructional coach, and as an Assistant Principal.
Prior to making his way to Washington state, Justin earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota in Elementary Education and has since obtained a Masters degree from Eastern Washington University and Principal Credentials from Washington State University. Throughout his experience as an educator and a building administrator he has shown a passion for helping educators make informed decisions with quality data.
Director of Birth to Pre-K
Jennifer Garza recently took on the role of Director of Birth to 5 Pre-K programs. Jennifer is a life time resident of Othello. After high school, Mrs. Garza continued her education at Washington State University and earned her Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education. Mrs. Garza then returned to Othello and began teaching kindergarten and 2nd grade at Scootney Springs Elementary for 10 years. While teaching 2nd grade Jennifer earned her master's degree from Walden University in Elementary Mathematics and Reading and her degree in administration from Washington State University – Tri-Cities.
After completing the WSU administration program, Mrs. Garza spent one year as the Dean of Students at Scootney Springs Elementary and Program Supervisor for the Othello School District. Mrs. Garza then spent two years working at the Othello School District office as the Director of Curriculum and Assessment. In 2013, Mrs. Garza returned to Scootney Springs Elementary as the building principal.
As the building principal, Mrs. Garza enjoyed working with students, parents, teachers, staff support, and the community to help students reach their fullest potential. She implemented changes in the reading and math programs to ensure all students had access to grade level materials and close the achievement gap. Mrs. Garza believes our students are our future and it takes each of us to educate the whole child and make a real difference. She now looks forward to working with families and young children to prepare 100% of our students for kindergarten.
Director of School to Career
Amy is in her 25th year in education and has served as a CTE Family and Consumer Science teacher, Career Center Coordinator and middle/high school counselor. She has been in the Othello School District since 2000 when she moved here with her husband, Steve, and their three daughters. Amy’s undergraduate education was done at Washington State University, her master’s degree in counseling psychology was obtained through Heritage University and she is currently pursuing a CTE Director program through Central Washington University. She is excited to take her experience working with staff, students and families to a new level by advancing Career Pathways and postsecondary opportunities for our students in Othello. Using avenues such as Career and Technical Education, AVID, Global Competencies and Dual-Credit opportunities, her goal is that every student graduates from Othello High School prepared and competitive in their post-high school endeavors. Amy will be instrumental in moving us toward our vision of Global Competency/Proficiency for all students.
K-8 STEM Director
Jessica Schenck has taught at the elementary and middle school levels for the past 13 years. Prior to coming to Othello in 2014, she worked in the Sunnyside School District. She earned her Masters in Teaching from Heritage University, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Washington University.
While in Sunnyside, Jessica taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades with a focus on technology and science. She has been passionate about seeking professional development for herself and her teaching colleagues, including Space Academy for Educators, Engineering is Elementary, and grants for technology in the classroom. She has led teacher workshops for elementary science kits, and worked as a peer technology coach with other teachers.
In Othello, Jessica has taught math and science in 6th and 8th grades as well as starting computer coding elective classes. She has served as a Washington State Science Fellow and has helped lead efforts to begin more STEM projects in Othello. She worked with the team of teachers who helped roll out the 1:1 Chromebook initiative at McFarland Middle School, and is looking forward to helping teachers integrate more technology in their teaching and learning. As Othello’s K-8 STEM Director, Jessica will work closely with all buildings to ensure that ALL students have regular opportunities for authentic, real world, and hands-on learning experiences.
K-8 Director of ELA/SS
David has served as an educator and administrator for over 12 years, 10 of which have been in the Othello School District. David earned his Bachelors in Social Studies Education and teaching certificate from Washington State University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Seattle Pacific University. He then went on to earn his administrative credentials from Western Governors University.
David has worked with a diverse group of students during his career serving students from the homeschool and alternative realm to advanced placement in a traditional high school. Through all of his time in education David has placed students first and dedicated himself to being an advocate for all students.
David has spent most of his career working with secondary students, yet he is excited for new challenges and the ability expand his learning by focusing on foundational reading as well as Language Arts and Social Studies during the early and middle grades. His passion, drive, and desire to serve others will make him a valuable asset to the team.
Director of Special Education
Heidi has been teaching Special Education for 22 years. She moved to Othello with her husband, Dale Wagner in 1998 with their four wonderful children. Her undergraduate degree in special education was completed at Ricks College and Central Washington University followed by her Masters degree in general education from Grand Canyon University. She has been working for the Othello School District for 19 years, teaching birth to five special education preschool. Heidi has served the district diligently as an instructional SIOP coach, Early Childhood Coordinator, Get Ready! for kinder instructor, Birth to Three program coordinator, ECEAP program supervisor, has bridged gaps between Othello's local preschools, and countless other capacities as needed.
Heidi is excited for the future of Special Education in Othello; her many years of experience educating families, students, teachers and team members have prepared her to lead the Special Education department. She looks forward to working with the OUTSTANDING staff, strengthen team bonds and support the students throughout their educational careers.