MILTON-FREEWATER — The Milton-Freewater Unified School District voted unanimously to hire McLoughlin High School Vice Principal Jay Rodighiero as the Freewater School principal at Monday’s board meeting.

Rodighiero has served as the high school vice principal since he came to the district in 2000.

“He knows the district, he knows the building, the families and the students,” recently hired superintendent Aaron Duff said. “He really relates with the students.”

After serving as a fourth- and fifth-grade school in 2018-19 while Ferndale Elementary School underwent renovations, Duff said the Freewater School will operate as an alternative school for a wide range of students from preschool to fifth-year high school seniors.

“It’s a unique building,” Duff said. “And (Rodighiero) is familiar with alternative schools.”

It’s that experience both within the district and with the uniqueness of the school that made Duff and the MFUSD board confident in not just hiring Rodighiero as principal, but also as the district’s director of special programs.

In total, Rodighiero will supervise the preschool, alternative education programs and an elementary behavioral classroom in his new positions.

With Ferndale Elementary School open again in the fall, Duff said that shifting the alternative schooling programs to Freewater will open up rooms at McLoughlin High School and allow the district to make better use of its space in general.

However, Rodighiero’s promotion leaves a void for the high school vice principal position he’s held for the last 19 years. The position has now opened and the district is accepting applicants, according to Duff.

“We’re looking for another solid administrator,” Duff said. “We’re looking for someone that wants to be a part of the community.”

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