By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Sheridan names Sherwood administrator superintendent

He and Cory Bradshaw of the Dallas School District were the two finalists for the position. They interviewed with the board, met with district administrators, staff and students and participated in community forums.

The board met in executive session for about a half hour Tuesday to discuss contract details. After convening in open session, it voted unanimously to hire Sugg.

Board Chair Judy Breeden was joined by Larry Deibel, Harvey Hall and Robin Rawlings at the session. Jason Alexander participated by Skype from his workplace.

Sugg, who attended the open portion of the session, signed a two-year contract at $101,000 a year. He’s set to start work July 1.

Breeden said Sugg’s experience with mounting successful bond campaign, dealing with the budget process and developing curriculum were all major assets. But she said his biggest asset was his commitment to student success.

He will succeed A.J. Grauer, who is retiring at the end of the school year. She succeeded Roy Williams five years ago, after spending six years as a teacher and five years as the principal at the high school.

“A.J. has done a phenomenal job for the Sheridan School District,” Breeden said. “We are able to be fiscally sound because of her leadership. She will definitely be missed.”

Sugg said he’s excited about the opportunity to lead a district. “It’s going to be a challenge and a great experience,” he said.

While he still has a school year to complete in Sherwood, he said he will do what he can to gain a good understanding of what’s happening in Sheridan.

“I’ll be communicating to see what I can do,” Sugg said. “I want to get to know Sheridan.”

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 positions, the most recent being assessment and accountability coordinator. “We enjoyed a lot of growth and it’s been a great experience,” Sugg said of his 10 years with the district.

During his hour-long community forum, Sugg said he focused on the Sheridan district because of its size. He said working in a large district can “pen you in” and prevent you from communicating with school staff and students as a whole.

“What I have missed is contact with the students and the staff,” Sugg said. “I want to get to know everyone.”

He described his leadership style as collaborative. He said his strength is bringing people together.

“Let’s all come together,” he said. “If there’s a problem, let’s see where we want to go and how to get there.”

Sugg described himself as a calm individual who isn’t easily rattled.

He said his goal in Sheridan is to create a flexible environment where 100 percent of the students achieve success. He said barriers in front of administrators and teachers must be removed so their individual goals can be met.

Two areas Sugg was questioned about were the budget and school safety.

“We’ve got to find creative ways to save money,” he said. “I worry about cutting days, cutting staff and increasing class sizes.

“If you cut programs, that’s like cutting staff. We’ve got to figure out the best combination of all these evils.”

The school resource officer position isn’t currently funded for next year, but Sugg called it a critical job that needs to be addressed.

Sugg said a high priority must be placed on different means by which to lock schools down as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency. Options would include card locks and panic buttons in classrooms and offices.

Sugg graduated from Marshfield High School in Coos Bay. He earned a bachelor’s in advanced math at Oregon State University in 1987, a master’s in advanced math from Western Oregon University in 1994 and a doctorate in educational methodology, policy and learning from the University of Oregon in 2012.

He and his wife live in Dayton. They have two grown children.

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