Eric Beasley was introduced as the new principal of Philomath and Blodgett elementary schools Friday. He’ll join the district July 1 to succeed Bryan Traylor, who will be retiring at the end of this academic year. (Photo provided by Eric Beasley)

Elementary school students in Philomath and Blodgett will transition to new leadership following this academic year with the retirement of principal Bryan Traylor.

Philomath Superintendent of Schools Susan Halliday announced Friday that the district has hired Eric Beasley, who has worked as a principal in the Corvallis School District for the past 12 years, to take over the Philomath-Blodgett position effective July 1.

Beasley, 45, is currently in his eighth year as the principal at Letitia Carlson Elementary (renamed from Wilson Elementary in 2021) and prior to that position, had been the principal for four years at Linus Pauling Middle School. Beasley also worked for the Sherwood School District early in his career.

Halliday said that during the hiring process, common themes emerged from references — a hard worker who is intentional and authentic, strong listener, highly creative and believes in the power of relationships with students, staff and the community.

“We are committed to hiring candidates who bring instructional leadership, expertise and a heart for students and staff to work in our schools,” Halliday said. “We look forward to Mr. Beasley’s energy and commitment to Philomath.”

Beasley said he enjoys the elementary school age group as an opportunity to give students a solid foundation as they move through various developmental stages. In higher grades, students may become segmented based on various groups, such as sports teams. But in elementary school, if there’s a STEM night, everybody’s going.

“I love having that ability just to kind of have us all synergizing together in a community,” Beasley said. “I think that’s something that I’ve found with elementary schools — they’re just magic, they’re just wonderful in that way so I look forward to continuing to work with the Philomath community and to really make the school a positive hub in the community.”

Added Beasley, “I think when schools are at their best, they really are community places where people gather and everybody gets involved in building a great foundation for kids.”

While at Linus Pauling, Beasley crossed paths with Halliday, who was assistant principal at Philomath Middle School at the time.

“So we got to collaborate on things like the track schedule and all of that and I always just really respected her,” Beasley said.

Current principal Bryan Taylor, seen here welcoming a student on the first day in September, will retire at the end of this school year. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

When word of Traylor’s retirement became public, Beasley had interest based on what he knew about the city and its residents.

“Philomath is a really supportive community and a special place and so I thought I’d just have a conversation and throw my name in the hat,” he said. “I felt really good about the process and what they’re looking for and what I think my skill set is and so yeah, I’m really excited about it.”

Traylor joined the school district in 2020 when former principal Halliday moved into the interim superintendent role, a situation that became permanent in early 2021. Traylor is in the final stretch of his third year at Philomath.

Beasley’s educational background includes a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and a master of education degree in curriculum and instruction — both from George Fox University. Beasley also furthered his education with grad work at Portland State University with a number of key credits and completion of his administrative credential.

Said Beasley, “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to continue the great work happening in Blodgett and Philomath.”

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.