By Steven Law
Special to the Chronicle
PAGE – The schoolboard for the Page Unified School District has named Nancy Warner as the new principal for Lake View Elementary. Warner will take the reins from Cathy Erickson, who is retiring at the end of this school year.
“With Cathy retiring, the timing was right,” Warner said. “I was very fortunate it worked out this way.”
After serving as the district’s professional development coordinator for several years, Warner returned to teaching at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year as Lake View’s literacy specialist.
“I missed children and interacting with them,” she said, adding that being back in a teaching environment was a very rewarding experience.
“It was a very inspiring environment just being around the staff and teachers at Lake View,” she said. “They’re a highly motivated and passionate group. If there was a school, I’d want to lead––this is it.”
Few Page residents need to be introduced to Warner. She grew up in Page, and as a fourth grader, attended Lake View Elementary the first year it opened.
Other things will be coming full circle for Warner too. PUSD’s newly-hired superintendent, Larry Wallen, was the principal of Page High School during the time that Warner attended high school.
After graduating from Page High School, Warner moved to Tucson and took sign language classes. After earning a certificate as a sign language interpreter, she returned to Page. She was employed by the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind as she worked for Page schools as an interpreter.
During that time, she saw the kids enter the school, progress through the grades and then move on. She found that process appealing – an amazing feeling to play such an integral role that child’s growth process. That inspired her to continue her education and a few years later she graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in elementary education. After obtaining her degree she taught in the classroom for nine years and enjoyed it.
“When I got into teaching, I did it because I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “I think most teachers will tell you the same thing. At the time, I had no desire to become an administrator or principal.”
But her perspective on that changed when she became an instructional coach, something she did for five years. The experience allowed her to view the administration side from a perspective she hadn’t seen as a teacher.
“But after I saw it, I thought, `This is something I’d really be interested in.’”
While still working as an instructional coach, she also pursued a master’s degree in school administration.
In the coming weeks, Warner will be working closely with Cathy Erickson to provide as smooth a transition as possible for the school, the staff, teachers and students.
She is married to Ryan Warner and together they have two children. Her daughter will graduate from University of Arizona this spring, and her son graduated from Page High School in 2019. Her son joined the U.S. Air Force and is awaiting his orders to report to base.
Warner will officially become Lake View’s principal on July 1, 2020.
“I’m looking forward to the new opportunities that comes from this new position,” she added.