Baptiste takes the helm at Vale Elementary School

VALE – The Vale School Board recently hired Leo Baptiste as principal of Vale Elementary School.

Baptiste comes to Vale after serving as principal at Dufur, a position he held since 2013.

“It was a tough decision to leave Dufur, but Vale has that small town feeling,” Baptiste said. “I also wanted to give my children more opportunities as they are getting older and want to do things available around the Vale area.”

Baptiste also wanted to be in an area where he could pursue his passion for rodeo and roping.

A graduate of University of Idaho, Baptiste was active in collegiate rodeo for four years and coached the women’s team for a year in Moscow. As his career continued in Moro and Nampa, he continued roping.

“I have been to the rodeo in Vale a few times,” he said.

Baptiste, a native of Hawaii, has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho and a master’s from Northwest Nazarene University.

Baptiste and his wife Jessica, along with daughters Hadley Jo and Dally Jean, plan to visit Vale in the next few weeks to find a home and walk around town.

“I am excited to meet the students and parents and start planning for next year,” he said. “The kids are excited to get to Vale and get moved in. I am looking for friends for a branding and to find a partner for some team roping competitions.”