Friday, March 15, 2013
The Hood River County School Board concluded its search for a new superintendent Wednesday evening and offered the position to Dan Goldman, current director of instruction and elementary education with the Tigard-Tualatin School District.
In a late-night conversation with Board Chair Jan Veldhuisen Virk, Goldman accepted the position, which will include a three-year contract commencing July 1.
“I want you to know that your reputation across the state is really, really good,” Goldman told a group of community members who took advantage of an opportunity to meet the two candidates Wednesday afternoon. “When I was going through the schools, it felt really good; kids seemed to be very engaged; and the instruction — I was on my hands and knees a bunch, which was great; you don’t get to do that too much when you go on a job interview, right?”
The school board, working with the recruiting firm of Ray and Associates, started the process in November with a field of 45 applicants. Through initial interviews the field was narrowed down to the two finalists, Dr. Steven Skalka and Dan Goldman. Both candidates spent Wednesday in the district, touring buildings and meeting staff, followed by an extensive interview with the school board that afternoon.
It has been a thorough process which included staff input, multiple interviews and an extensive background review. The board’s selection was based on Goldman’s breadth of knowledge about education, experience in leading educational reform, and his enthusiasm about student achievement.
He said that the three main things he wants the people to know about him are that he plans to be as visible in the community as possible, believes in making shared decisions as much as possible (though “Somebody has to make a decision at the end of the day, and I’ll do that, too”), and his highest priority is teaching and learning in the district.
“I’m really invested in literacy, and higher rates of literacy,” he said. “It’s the information age, and if kids can’t access information, they really are doomed to a life of less.”
When asked what he was proudest of in his career to date, Goldman answered that there are really two:
“The thing I think I’m most proud of is the relationships I have with the people that I work with,” he said. “Education is a people business. There are technical parts of what we need to do, for sure; there’s an art and a science to this thing. I have had really outstanding relationships with the administrative team and my teachers, and if I didn’t have that, the other stuff that I’d feel really good about would not be able to happen.
“The technical thing that I’m most proud of is our elementary reading program,” he said. “We started that whole process in 2008 … and since that time our achievement in elementary reading has gone through the roof; it’s unbelievable.
“We’ve closed the achievement gap in our Latino kids and our white kids by about 40 percent in just a couple of years,” he said. “I’m really proud of that — not just because we pulled something off but when you talk about what education should really be about, it’s about all kids making lots of progress.”
Goldman was attracted to Hood River because of the quality of education the schools provide their students, the size of the district and the opportunities found in the area. He and his wife, Nicole, along with their two children, are excited about coming to Hood River and being part of the community.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge