By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Superintendent finalists visit Sheridan

The board has scheduled site visits in Dallas and Sherwood for Thursday. Following those visits, it will discuss in executive session at 4 p.m. the qualifications of each candidate.

The plan is for the board to come to a consensus on hiring one of the candidates during the executive session. When it returns to open session, the expectation is that it will vote to offer the job to its top choice.

Official action is expected to take place at the Wednesday, Feb. 20 regular meeting.

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SHERIDAN — By the end of this week, the Sheridan School Board is expected to offer the superintendent’s job to either Cory Bradshaw, curriculum director in Polk County’s Dallas School District, or Steve Sugg, curriculum director in Washington County’s Sherwood School District.

A.J. Grauer is retiring at the end of the school year. Her replacement will start work in Sheridan on July 1.

Bradshaw was a finalist for the Amity superintendent job last year after Reg McShane announced his retirement. Sugg taught math at Dayton High early in his career.

They were among 15 applicants for the job in Sheridan, all from outside the district.

A screening committee paired the field to six, five from Oregon and one from Washington. During interviews conducted in executive session last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the board settled on Bradshaw and Sugg as its finalists.

They will visit Sheridan throughout the day Wednesday. They will first meet with building principals and staff members, then have lunch with Grauer and/or board Chair Judy Breeden.

Community meet-and-greets will be held with Sugg at 4:15 p.m. and Bradshaw at 5:30 at the high school. They are expected to last about one hour each.

The board has scheduled site visits in Dallas and Sherwood for Thursday. Following those visits, it will discuss in executive session at 4 p.m. the qualifications of each candidate.

If all goes according to plan, it will come to a consensus on one of the candidates then, according to Business Manager DeAnn O’Neil. She said it is expected to take official action at its meeting of Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Sugg taught math at Jordan Valley High School in Eastern Oregon, then at Dayton High, before being named assistant principal at Philomath High in Benton County. He went on to Sherwood, where he has served in several administrative capacities, the most recent being assessment and accountability coordinator.

In his application letter, Sugg said he sees the Sheridan role as that of decision maker and information seeker.

Leadership must be transparent, Sugg said, so everyone can examine the goal and how each decision leads to achieving that goal. The superintendent of any district is a community leader, and even more so in a district the size of Sheridan, he said.

“Schools are the pride and joy of a district,” he said. “I have always immersed myself in the activities of the communities in which I have worked.”

Sugg led the Healthy Philomath Forum, whichbrought together school leaders, students and community leaders to improve the community for adults and youth. He has participated in Calling for Kids, the annual fund raising campaign for the Sherwood Education Foundation.

Sugg said he’s excited to know that Sheridan offers a variety of educational alternatives for students. He said he would work to strengthen the existing programs and grow others.

He received his bachelor’s degree in advanced math from Oregon State University in 1987, his master’s in advanced math from Western Oregon University in 1994 and his doctorate in educational methodology, policy and learning from the University of Oregon in 2012.

Bradshaw launched her teaching career in the 1970s in the communities of Para Hills and Whyalla in South Australia. She later taught at South Umpqua High School in Southern Oregon’s Myrtle Creek and Burns High school in Eastern Oregon.

She came to Dallas as assistant principal at the high school and has since held a range of administrative positions.

In applying for the Sheridan job, Bradshaw said she believes an effective superintendent must talk to community members, understand their values and concerns and become immersed in community life. She said she enjoys the interaction with fellow community members at venues such as rotary and chamber of commerce.

Like Sugg, Bradshaw is well aware that these are difficult budgeting times.

She said it is tempting to look for a quick fix — a solution to an immediate crisis. However, she understands quick fixes can be costly in the long run, so aren’t always the way to go.

She has managed federal budgets that have supported personnel and supplies. She said federal budgets have been volatile, and she’s had to be proactive where planning is concerned with an eye on contingency plans.

“Because Dallas is a fairly small district with a very lean administrative team, I’ve had opportunities sometimes not available to people in larger districts with more defined and limited roles,” Bradshaw said.

She received her bachelor’s degree in biology in 1973 and her master’s in school and community counseling in 1991, both from The College of Idaho in Caldwell. She has completed the coursework for her doctorate in data analysis through the University of Oregon.

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