OSD: Trading spaces

Seven administrative changes at re-shaped district
By: 
Scott De Laruelle

Oregon School District superintendent Brian Busler said the seven changes in leadership positions at district schools is the most in “a number of years” and said he’s pleased at the quality of individuals filling the posts.

“They are talented individuals and will do an outstanding job with our students, parents, colleagues and supporting the greater Oregon school community,” he said. “We are fortunate to have such a mission based group of administrators in the Oregon School District.”

Besides Josh Iverson taking over as a new Oregon High School assistant principal, there have been a bevy of changes throughout the district’s other four schools.

Leslie Bergstrom

At Rome Corners Intermediate, which houses the district’s fifth- and sixth-graders, former principal Leslie Bergstrom has moved to the district offices to take over the role of director of instruction and student achievement, taking over for Anita Kohler, who retired after last school year. Bergstrom has served in administrative positions at Oregon High School and RCI over the past 11 years.

She earned her doctorate from Edgewood College in 2011 and studied the role of teacher leadership in advancing student achievement. Busler said her new role has been a long-term career goal, though she will miss the “perfect principal’s job at RCI.”

“Dr. Bergstrom is an expert at curriculum development and professional development and brings a wealth of experience to her new position,” Busler said.

Bergstrom said she’s grateful for the opportunity to serve the students and community in a new way.

“I will be able to build the skills I cultivated as a teacher, assistant principal and principal to support the teaching staff as we design personalized, engaging learning experiences for our students,” she said.

Michelle Gard

Gard, who Busler said is an “experienced principal with an outstanding track record in the district,” will take over at RCI for Bergstrom. Gard has been an administrator at Prairie View Elementary School and also served as the district’s 4K principal, overseeing the launch of the program “from scratch,” Busler said.

“She was a natural choice to head RCI, where she started her career serving fifth- and sixth-grade students, so she is coming home,” he said.

Heather Sveom

Sveom is back as the principal at Prairie View Elementary School after a one-year leave to live abroad with her family in Guam.  She completed her doctorate degree this past year and returns to Prairie View to “pick up where she left off a year ago,” said Busler.

“Sveom studied professional development as part of her dissertation and brings this important experience back to PVE and her day-to-day leadership,” he said.

Mary Weber

Weber is the district’s new 4K principal (administrative intern) and will oversee the 4K program, taking over for Sarah Boatman, who took a principalship in McFarland.  Weber has taught in the district for the past 24 years, splitting her time between the three elementary schools.

“This position creates the opportunity to connect her passion for early education and family outreach to our students and families as they begin their journey in the 4K,” said Busler.

Weber said she’s loved teaching early childhood and kindergarten in the past, and is looking forward to her new role.

“My mission has always been to make the first year of school a year of excitement and success,” she said. “I plan now to continue this mission within the 4-year-old kindergarten program and help teachers, students and families give children a great start.”

Tori Whitish

Whitish has been an administrative intern for the past three years, including the last two at RCI, and will be the school’s new associate principal.

Busler said Whitish is “well established at RCI” and looking forward to continuing to serve its students and families.

Jackie Amlong

Amlong has taught in the Oregon School District for six years, with the past five at PVE, where she will serve as an intern at the school. She will take over for Abby Hood, who returned to her home state of Maine to become an associate principal.  Amlong is completing her degree in school administration and has “dreamed about being a school principal,” said Busler.

“This is a great example of hiring a teacher leader into an administrative intern position and we are excited to have her at PVE,” he said.

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