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Principal's Corner

Principal: Emily Hays

Welcome to our school! Opstad Elementary is an incredible school community that engages, educates, and empowers all learners.

After moving to Washington in 2018, I taught as a Literacy Language Specialist at Opstad and have since served as the assistant principal for both Opstad and Cascade View elementaries. Prior to that, I was an elementary Reading Interventionist and a Special Education teacher in Illinois. 

I am currently working on my Ed.D. in Education through Murray State University; have two Master of Education degrees from the University of Illinois in Educational Administration & Leadership and in Special Education; and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from Indiana University. 

My husband, Eric, is an employee of Amazon and our eldest son has just begun his freshman year at the University of Washington. We are both so excited to have moved to North Bend this July and that our youngest two children are now Otters.

As the principal of Opstad, it is an honor and privilege to lead this school, which is among one of the greatest communities I have been in. Family partnerships are critical to a child’s education. It is my belief that the adults in the home are a child’s first and most important teachers. It is my hope and goal to partner with families in collaboration with staff to make each year at Opstad full of engaging, rigorous, and authentic learning.

I look forward to getting to know each student, staff member, and family in the Opstad community to support each student’s learning.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Emily Hays

Assistant Principal: Kathryn Gibson


My name is Katy Gibson and I am the Assistant Principal at both and Opstad Elementary and North Bend Elementary!  I worked as an elementary teacher (private and public) for 16 years in Seattle and Mercer Island.  I then served as a K-5 Instructional Coach at West Mercer Elementary for almost 3 years.  At the end of the 2020-21 school year I was asked to step in and serve as Interim Associate Principal at West Mercer Elementary.

I received my Educational Administration Degree from Seattle University; my Master of Education in Reading and Literacy from City University; and my Bachelor of Arts degree in Language Arts and Elementary Education from Seattle Pacific University.  My son is a sophomore in high school and my daughter is in 7th grade.  In my free time, I love to walk my two dogs, read, and enjoy a good meal with my family.

It is an honor to be part of Opstad Elementary and North Bend Elementary. I am excited to continue to be part of strong school communities that support our students and each other.

Katy Gibson