MEDFORD, Ore. — Medford school district might have to search for a new superintendent after disagreements over the current superintendent’s performance.
The district’s current superintendent, Phil Long, proposed a motion to allow his contract to end next June in response to mixed reviews from the current board. This means the search could be on for a new successor next year.
This comes amidst what Long describes as a period of indecision for the district, which faces budget and student performance concerns.
Normally, the board would have been obligated to vote on contract renewal. Long says they decided to wave that obligation because the board needs to overcome some contention over things like budget, staffing, and classroom sizes.
Long’s contract is set to expire in June. There will be opportunities during that time to renew, but Long says that he doesn’t want to be a distraction on what he says is a pretty tense time for schools.
“We’ve dealt with so many challenges over the last two decades,” says Dr. Long. “But in the last eight or ten years, just with funding as it is, it’s put a lot of tension on families, on employees, on people in the school board.”
Long says that in his last eight years as superintendent, math scores have improved substantially, while reading scores have remained roughly even. He also says that graduation rates have improved, but there is still a way to go.
He also says that transitioning to a new superintendent can be traumatic to a district unless the board is able to unify around the issues that it faces and open up to feedback from the community.