Superintendent Candidates Tour Schools

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Finalists to replace retiring Ashland School District Superintendent Juli Di Chiro toured several schools in the district on Friday.

“It’s clear that the community of Ashland and the school district here value education at a very high level and they actually value diversity of opportunities for students,” said Jay Hummel.

Both candidates have experience as teachers, principals, and in a district office. However, both candidates are currently working in education out of state, but have experience working in Oregon.

Russ Pickett says working through the changes that occur over the years is key to finding success in the school district.

I think there are a lot of changes that are happening in education and a lot of those are coming nationally and so we have to be ahead of the curve on what those changes are,” said Pickett.

Finalist Jay Hummel says he knows the Ashland School District has a strong reputation and raising the bar would be something he would focus on.

“Ashland is a high performing school district already and maintaining that and expanding that would be my focus,” said Hummel.

Hummel says preparing students for success beyond the classroom is part of the key to success.

I think the ongoing challenge of making sure all of our students, every student, each student, is prepared when they leave us for the challenging world they’re going into, is the challenge,” stated Hummel.

Pickett says a goal is to make a little bit of progress every day the student walks into a classroom.

“My bottom line goal has always been the students need to go home at the end of the day a little bit smarter than when they came in the morning,” said Pickett. “And if we’re doing that and we’re moving in the right direction, then everything else is even flow.”

Superintendent Di Chiro served the Ashland School District for 13 years and will be retiring after this school year.