Riverview Learning Center welcomes its new principal, Janet Gavigan

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

Janet Gavigan is the new principal at the Riverview Learning Center. Courtesy photo.
The Riverview School District is pleased to announce Janet Gavigan as the new principal of the Riverview Learning Center. Janet has been the principal at Tolt Middle School for the past 16 years. Preceding her years at Tolt she was the assistant principal at Cedarcrest High School for three years.

Ms. Gavigan has in-depth experience with both alternative  programs and alternative students, and was a vital participant on the 2004-06 committee that recommended a new facility for RSD alternative students and provided recommendations to establish what is now the CHOICE program at the Learning Center. Along with her position as principal, Janet will also become director of the human resources program for the district.

The legacy of Janet’s work at Tolt Middle School is  impressive.  During her tenure the expectations for student achievement increased exponentially, including a significant increase in the honors program offerings, and considerable expansion to the opportunities in the arts, athletics and extra curricular activities.  Notably,  over the past 10 years, Tolt student test scores increased significantly, with student scores achieving gains of 30 percent in reading and science, 35 percent in math and 25 percent in writing.

As a hands-on administrator, Janet helped with school fundraising events, leading the annual magazine drive, resulting in an average of $12,000 annually. These monies helped to support student activities and opportunities. Her leadership aided in the addition of school clubs including: TSA, Junior Honor Society, Art Club, Homework Club and various others throughout the years.

Ms. Gavigan was an extremely supportive partner in PTSA programs as well, with the offering of after-school enrichment classes and ongoing activities which supported both students and staff.

District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Anthony Smith has been the principal at the Riverview Learning Center for the past year, and had assumed the role due to state funding issues.

Ms. Gavigan’s appointment as RLC principal will allow Dr. Smith to focus his energies toward the improvement of teaching and learning district-wide. He explains, “Although spread thin, the last year has been a blessing for me, to be able to interact with the wonderful students, staff and parents at RLC.  We have had an extremely talented administrative team in this building, and I would like to acknowledge the work of Chris Mirecki, Mike Ruhland, Janet Gavigan and Dr. Randy Stocker for their roles in assisting me with the administrative supervision. Because Janet has been helping with on-site supervision for the past year, it will make for a smooth transition.”

When asked about her recent appointment, and her many years as principal at Tolt, Ms. Gavigan explained how grateful she is to have had the opportunity to lead, to grow and to impact the lives of so many students.  She shared, “I have loved my work, and have been privileged and honored to serve the community and to work side by side with an excellent staff who are persistent in their mission to educate children, prepare them for the next step in their academic lives, and to help them become productive citizens. I could not have asked for a better team of teachers who truly understand the social, emotional, behavioral and academic needs of our students.”

She continued, “I have been so fortunate to work every day with a staff so focused on the whole child during the sometimes challenging adolescent years, and with a community that is so incredibly supportive of the middle school.”

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