White Pass is excited to embark on a new school year. Leading the charge are two returning Panthers. Gregg Teel is returning as the Elementary Principal and Marji Ruzicka, a White Pass graduate, as the Secondary Principal. Welcome back.
Marji Ruzicka, a graduate of White Pass High School (class of 1991), is thrilled to be coming back to the valley where she grew up, moving back to East Lewis County with her husband Mike and her two dogs Buster and Bitsie. They are very proud of their two daughters; Jessica, who just started teaching in Oregon, and Haley, who is an artillery officer in the US Army. In her free time, Marji enjoys the beautiful Northwest outdoors, spending time with family and pets, and planning future vacations to destinations near and far.
Marji has been in the education field for 27 years; 16 as a teacher in the Vancouver School District and then 10 as a high school associate principal in Fort Vancouver, Columbia River (Vancouver), and 2 years as an Oregon high school administrator at Tualatin and Oregon City High Schools. Mike served 22 years in the Air Force, retiring as a Master Sergeant. During her time as a teacher, Marji taught Spanish and French and developed the Dual Language Immersion program in middle school and high school for the Vancouver School District. "I am most proud of the relationships I've built with students, families, and staff over the years and how that translates into seeing students walk across the stage at graduation, ready to take on the exciting world in front of them"
Ruzicka graduated from Central Washington University and earned her Master of Education from City University of Seattle, and earned National Board Certification in 2009.
Greggery Teel, a native of Texas, will be returning to the principalship at White Pass Elementary School. He grew up in the small North Texas town of Ector. After graduating college, he and his wife, Stephanie, moved to Washington in 1999. At that point they were expecting their first child, Rebekah (b.1999). Over the years, their family grew to include a second daughter, Katherene (b. 2002), and their son, David (b.2005). Greg’s wife is a principal in the Longview School District.
Greg has been in education for 26 years, starting as a volunteer in his wife’s First Grade classroom and a substitute in the local schools in Texas. After moving to Washington, Greg became a paraeducator for the Aberdeen School District, working as a one-on-one and then later as a librarian. During that time, he when back to get his Teaching Certificate. He has taught Elementary and Middle School in Aberdeen, Neah Bay, Napevine, and Centralia. While in Centralia, he began working on his Principal certification. Upon completion, he became the Dean of Students at Washington Elementary in Centralia. In 2020, Greg became the Principal of White Pass Elementary. He made the transition to Toutle Lake Elementary in 2022, before deciding to return to the valley to once again take on the role of Principal at White Pass Elementary. Greg has said, “ My favorite part of being a principal is that I get to see and shape the lives of every student in the school.”
Greg’s wife is the Principal of Saint Helen Elementary in Longview. She has served there for the past 5 years. Rebekah is working on her degree in Social Work from Central Washington University. Grace will be attending Avada Institute for her Cosmetology license. His son, David, is going to Brazil as an Exchange Student through AFS. David will be doing culture exchange as a gap-year student.
Greg earned his Bachelor of Art from East Texas Baptist University, Master of Education from Grand Canyon University, and Principal Certificate from Saint Martin’s University.
Thank you, Greg Teel