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Kimberlee Pelster

Kimberlee joined the Thurston High School administrative team as an assistant principal in 2020. She brings a breadth of experience and a sincere passion for students. Kimberlee is a first-in-family college graduate and attended the University of Chicago. She taught special education and mathematics at the secondary level, became a director for Teach for America, and an administrator at a charter school. She returned to her native Oregon in 2018 and worked in 4J as a Teacher on Special Assignment in the Special Services department. She brings conviction in the potential of all students and an equity-minded approach to working with students and supporting staff. Kimberlee is looking forward to working alongside a staff with deep roots in and commitment to the Thurston community.


Jared Taylor
Dean of Students

Jared is responsible for overall climate and safety at Thurston High School.  His years of experience coupled with his unique ability to building
relationships with students, staff and our community make him a helpful and understanding asset to the team.


Daniel Pestle
Assistant Principal

After years of visiting family property in the Springfield forest area, Daniel and his wife have settled on the land they fell in love with. He couldn't be more excited to contribute to the growth and success of all Thurston High students. As an English, Speech, Debate and Drama teacher in Billings, Montana for 18 years, and as an administrator at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, California for three years, Daniel focused on building strong relationships to improve academic performance, expand post secondary college and career opportunities, and foster a safe, equitable campus culture.


Jeffrey Thompson
Assistant Principal 

Jeff has been in education for 12 years, serving in Springfield as a teacher at Hamlin Middle School for the last six years. He is a native of the Eugene/Springfield area and a UofO graduate. Jeff brings a diverse teaching and leadership background to Thurston High. He firmly believes in the ability of every student to learn and is committed to making sure all students feel welcome and safe at THS. Jeff lives with his wife and daughter in the Thurston area and is excited about serving the community.​


Leslie Watson
Assistant Principal

As a high school teacher leader and administrator, with 20+ years in Springfield School District, Leslie understands the challenges comprehensive high school programs face and is committed to creative, collaborative and transparent processes to find solutions. Sharing her passion for helping students discover their “why,” building up staff through coaching and strong relationships are just some of the reasons she is excited about joining the THS team. You may or may not know that Leslie brings an exceptional background in CTE program development and management. She successfully developed three high-demand healthcare pathways with industry-recognized certifications at Springfield High School (CNA, CMA, CMAA). In accomplishing this endeavor, she pursued and was awarded, more than 30 grants totaling over $125,000. Leslie is excited to bring this same energy to supporting Thurston programs.