Get to Know Our New Associate Principals!

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Abby Throndson

Without being able to see students in person, and with the complete shift of administrative roles, our new Associate Principals are struggling to make connections with students. Most students know our Interim Principal, former Associate Principal Darius Ballard aka DJ Insanity, already. However, students don’t know much about the newest additions to the administrative team, Associate Principals Julie Cain and Ian LeMaster.

Cain has been teaching at Washington for her whole 23 year career, and she even student-taught here. She previously taught Japanese, and for the past five years has been an instructional coach, which focuses on helping Wash teachers improve and evolve their teaching.

She grew up in Des Moines and was a Des Moines North High Polar Bear. Like many Wash students, she was involved in a lot; Cain played tuba in band and trombone and flute in jazz band. Her main sport was swimming, but she also played basketball, golf, and ran track (which she hated). “High school, like life, is what you make of it,” she said. “If you want to have a positive experience, you have to make it a positive experience. Get involved and create your own memories.”

Cain is still active in the activities that she loved in high school. She is a part of The Heavy Metal Tuba Band, a music group consisting of tuba, euphonium, sousaphone, and baritone players in the Cedar Rapids area. She also swims with the Milky Way Masters Swim Team, which is a Cedar Rapids division of the Masters swim program, a competitive swimming group for adults.

One of her favorite movies is the 1987 cult classic The Princess Bride. “I watch [it] probably ten times a year… You just can’t beat that.” Cain also loves the book A Prayer for Owen Meany. When Cain rereads the book, she mentions that she is at a different place in life and says that the book is still meaningful and changes her perspective each time.

Her parting words for students are “We got this Warriors, it’s not gonna be easy, but we got it. If any school can pull this off, we can.”

LeMaster, Washington’s interim Associate Principal previously taught World and US History over on the West Side at Jefferson High School. Similar to Cain, he was also an instructional coach. Right after being hired at Wash, he was thrown into the deep end. One of his responsibilities is buildings and grounds, and on his sixth day the August 2020 Derecho hit. “That was a nice welcome to the job,” he said.  

Born in Iowa City, LeMaster went to City High where he was in Choir, Show Choir, and Jazz Choir. He played trumpet in band and was an avid soccer player year round. When he was a kid he wanted to be a professional athlete, and still enjoys watching sports today. While LeMaster loved his sports, he gravitated towards the arts in high school. “The thing I had pure joy doing, was show choir,” he said. “You just could not be in a bad mood while performing.”

After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) in ’08, he was a substitute teacher for two years. No permanent teacher spots were available to him and he stepped away from teaching for a few years before getting his previous job at Jefferson. 

While being busy with his new job, he also makes time to be a parent to his three month old daughter. “Being a new parent and a new admin– it’s just a lot of time commitment there.”

LeMaster is really looking forward to hopefully seeing students in person when the spring semester starts. “It is weird to come to school every day and look out into empty hallways.” 

His parting words for students are “Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to the you of yesterday.”