The end of the school year is in sight, but the South Lane School District is working on new hires for next school year.
The administrative hiring process is in full-swing in an effort to fill the positions of principal and assistant principal/athletic director at Cottage Grove High School and principal at Lincoln Middle School.
“As far as comparing this year to other years, it might seem — since we have three pretty major leadership positions open right now —like it’s a big year. But so far, from where we sit right now, it’s probably the smallest in six years,” said Human Resources director Brian McCasline at last week’s school board meeting. “But that’s comparing spring to August, so it may still grow to a middling year, what have you. But it’s not any higher than we would expect at this time of year.”
Final interviews for the position of assistant principal and athletic director were being conducted last Wednesday. As of The Sentinel’s print deadline, the person filling that position has not been announced. The interviews for the principal position at the high school are just beginning. McCassline noted that both positions will be ready for the school board to approve at the June 17 meeting.
In May, CGHS principal Mike Ingman announced that next year he will be leaving the school to go be principal at Sheldon High School in Eugene.
“I have enjoyed the professional and personal relationships that I have cultivated over the 20 years that I have been in education, including 7 years as a teacher 7 years as an administrator in South Lane,” Ingman wrote in an email to parents announcing his departure.
Ingman first came to CGHS in 2000 as social studies teacher before becoming dean of students in 2006. The following year he was assistant principal at South Albay High School before becoming principal at Albany Options School in the winter of 2011. In 2012, he returned to SLSD, where he was principal at Al Kennedy High School before becoming principal at CGHS in 2017.
While Ingman is leaving, there is also an opening at the assistant principal/athletic director position left by Gary Roberts’ departure. Roberts, who was also the CGHS football coach, announced in April that he will be returning to his alma mater Marshfield, where he will be assistant principal
“Just being the assistant principal will provide me more time to be with my family. I won’t be at school three nights a week until 9 o’clock,” said Roberts at the time. “And then, it’s where I grew up; it’s home. It’s always been a special place for me. That was the kind of the biggest thing behind the decision, a chance to go home. The chance to have more time to spend with my wife and my kids.”
Over at Lincoln Middle School, principal Jeremy Smith, who has served as principal for the last seven years and was principal at Dorena for the five years prior, is going to CGHS where he will be the high school success coordinator.
The position is funded by the state’s high school success grant to prevent students from dropping out, ensure that freshmen in high school are on track to graduate and give students career and technical education opportunities. By doing these things the state, and district, believe that graduation rates will increase.
“I really like looking at things on a systems level and have always thought about district wide systems and helping kids all across the spectrum. When this opportunity came up I thought it was something that I’ve been practicing in terms of my skillset and that I could have things to offer and that it would also be a new challenge for me,” said Smith who has worked in the district for 17 years.
Elsewhere in the district Kim Scrima, who was an assistant principal at Cottage Grove High School at the start of last school year, moved to the role of principal at Kennedy midway through the school year as Kennedy principal Halie Ketcher went on maternity leave. On August 1 Ketcher will be at CGHS in the role of assistant principal. Scrima will, according to SLSD Communications Coordinator Garrett Bridgens, continue as principal at Kennedy.
While those positions will be filled soon, the next job to fill for the district is the biggest job in the district: superintendent. Current superintendent Larry Sullivan took the position in May of 2018 and will serve one more year before the board hires a new superintendent next year — a process expected to begin in August.