Mihelich to lead HR, Sokol to be new principal of Central
Matt Mihelich will take the helm as the district’s new Executive Director of Human Resources and Health Services on July 1. He will replace Darrell Heisler, who is retiring in June after working for the district in a variety of roles for 30 years.
Mihelich started his career as a substitute teacher in Sedro-Woolley after graduating from Pacific Lutheran University in 1994. He worked in the Burlington-Edison School District for a few years as a PE/Health teacher at Lucille Umbarger Elementary School. He came back home to Sedro-Woolley after earning his Master’s Degree along with a K-12 principal’s certificate from Western Washington University. He served as a part-time principal and part-time PE teacher at Lyman Elementary for five years until moving to Evergreen for the next six years and then to Central for the past nine years. HR was never a focus as he worked with students and staff at the elementary schools as an administrator.
“I really just wanted to work with people,” Mihelich said. “To me, relationships and helping support kids and teachers is what I want to do. Twenty years I’ve done that as a principal. I’m excited about an opportunity to do it in a different way through HR.”
Karissa Sokol will take Mihelich’s place as Central’s principal. She has served as the school’s assistant principal for the past three years. She was a classroom teacher for eight years before serving as the Literacy Lead for the district for five years. She is a Nationally Board-Certified Teacher with a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Reading.
“I believe that education is the key to equalizing the playing field,” Sokol said. “I am passionate about ensuring that every child has an equal opportunity for quality education and I believe it is my responsibility to use my voice for those who do not have a voice.”
Sokol knows she and the staff at Central will have a lot of work to continue with in the fall.
“I am ready to leverage the relationships and trust I have built within my staff to hit the ground running next year,” she said. “Before COVID turned our system inside out - we had a lot of goals we were working on.”
At Central the staff will continue to work on project-based learning units, focusing on the opportunity gap so staff can close the achievement gap.
“We will utilize social-emotional learning to ensure our student's basic needs are met and they are ready to learn,” Sokol said. “Hopefully, we will be able to work more closely with our community and families, engaging them in our work at Central. We look forward to bringing back our Project-Based Learning nights, where we invited our families to share all of the wonderful learning happening in our building.”