Curtiss J. Scholl will swing into the saddle as Sisters' new school superintendent on July 1. While he's tying down the last work at his current position, he's already at work on the Sisters job.
"I'm working on the transition plan right now," he told The Nugget last Friday.
The Sisters School Board made the offer to Scholl last Wednesday and will formalize an agreement in a public meeting.
"We started with an outstanding field of 42 candidates from Oregon and several other states for the superintendent position," said School Board Chair Don Hedrick. "But, after interviews with numerous candidates, reference checking and having the final two spend a day in our district, Curt Scholl emerged as the right fit to be our next superintendent. He demonstrated a proven record of success in small, medium and large-sized districts and we welcome him to our schools community."
Currently, Scholl is the principal at Sprague High School in the Salem-Keizer School District where he has been principal since 2009. While he was at Sprague, the school's academic performance improved 30 percent in math and 20 percent in reading, making them one of the strongest schools in the state.
Scholl will be meeting with staff and community members as the transition gets underway.
He was reluctant to delve too deeply into specific priorities before he has had the opportunity to talk with stakeholders and develop a clear picture of the district's needs.
He noted that "Sisters is a strong school district already," and has a strong cadre of volunteers and a good relationship with the community. He will be paying attention to maintaining and enhancing that.
"I'm looking at getting community input," he said. "Schools-and-community is always a strong partnership."
Regarding the failure of a facilities bond last year, he said, "It sounds like some attention needs to be paid to that process and what happened there."
He noted that Sisters buildings "are nice schools. There are some facilities needs that are there."
Scholl said he wants to look at how students "articulate from grade to grade" - in other words, how well students are prepared for the hand-off to the next grade.
He said that student success shows that work has been put in in that area, but "you don't want to assume anything."
Before moving to the Salem-Keizer School District, Scholl was an assistant principal at West Linn High School for three years and principal at Vernonia High School for three years.
While working in West Linn-Wilsonville, he attended Harvard University's "Principal's Corner" and was recognized as a Teacher of Excellence.
Scholl has worked in the classroom as a social studies teacher for six years and also handled coaching duties for football and baseball. He was a member of the Linfield College varsity football team in 1991-93, which was the NAIA Division III National champion runner-up in 1992.
Scholl has a master's degree in science and teaching from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Linfield College.
"We must always be student-centered in education developing life-long learners," Scholl said. "It's important that we always strive to get better and maintain focus on positive growth for the district and doing what is best for students. I am excited about the opportunity to become a part of the Sisters schools with an already strong record of success and a community that has demonstrated a willingness to become involved. Working together, we can be a positive difference-maker in the lives of the district's children."