There’s a joke at Vaughn Elementary School that Lillian “Lily” Page, dean of students, wears sneakers to work because she spends so much time running around the school.
As with any joke, this one holds an ounce of truth, said Vaughn Principal Susan O’Leary.
“She always does everything with gusto and just a ton of energy,” O’Leary said. “I think she represents everything that’s good about Peninsula School District.”
Page, 36, is the recipient of the district’s Ellen Fay Award for academic excellence, receiving the award during the April 13 board of directors meeting.
The award was a surprise for Page, who first heard the news from Superintendent Rob Manahan during an afternoon meeting at Vaughn.
She always does everything with gusto and just a ton of energy. I think she represents everything that’s good about Peninsula School District.
Susan O’Leary, principal at Vaughn Elementary
“I had no idea,” she said, adding that hearing the news brought her to tears.
The Ellen Fay Award is based on colleague nominations, and Page’s receipt of the award came as no surprise to O’Leary.
“In order for principals to become focused on being academic leaders in their buildings, more focused on their academic piece, we needed more support for some of the other things in the building,” O’Leary said.
As dean of students, Page helps with administrative work such as classified staff evaluations, along with student discipline, running the safety committee and the Positive Behavioral Interventions.
“I work with some of the more struggling students,” Page explained. “I really enjoy helping them ... and seeing their success. I really like the behavior piece.”
Page has been teaching for more than 20 years, beginning at age 15 with teaching gymnastics in Seattle. She continued coaching and teaching through college, where she was a cheerleader at the University of Washington and taught summer cheer camps.
I kind of like to see the whole picture. I like to be everywhere and see the kids in all the different realms they’re at.
Lillian “Lily” Page, dean of students at Vaughn Elementary
“Teaching was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “It’s the hardest job in the world.”
With both a teaching certificate and an administrative certificate, Page taught at Harbor Heights Elementary from 2012 to 2014, before taking the Dean of Students position at Vaughn, where she’s been for the last three years.
“I kind of like to see the whole picture,” she said. “I like to be everywhere and see the kids in all the different realms they’re at.”
Moving to Vaughn also allowed Page to work closely with O’Leary, learning from her 26 years of experience in education.
“I really appreciate the mentoring Susan has provided for me,” Page said. “She’s a really amazing leader.”
I love being at Vaughn. The staff are amazing and supportive. The families are great (and) the community is strong out here. They really care about the school.
This mentorship and Page’s growing experience with the Vaughn community have added benefits for the school: O’Leary has announced her resignation as Vaughn’s principal at the end of the school year, with Page stepping into the principal role this fall, pending board approval.
O’Leary has accepted the position of director of marketing and sales for Kensington Gardens.
“After a pretty rigorous process, (Page) was selected as the next principal. I couldn’t be more proud of her,” O’Leary said. “She’s brought on lots of new great ideas ... we’re really pleased that she’s selected.”
For Page, Vaughn is exactly the environment and community she’d been looking to work with.
“I love being at Vaughn. The staff are amazing and supportive,” she said. “The families are great (and) the community is strong out here. They really care about the school.”