“Brian was able to take the helm of a once struggling school and set a clear course for success. This vision was evident in his decision to increase curricular offerings while maintaining a healthy budget and reversing a trend of downward enrollment figures.

—Robert Waltenburg
Superintendent, Grant County ESD

Long Creek School District

2007 to 2009  

Superintendent

Long Creek School District #17
P.O. Box 428
375 East Main
Long Creek, OR 97856

What I learned from my Superintendent role at Long Creek:

  • Board members who find ways to integrate their new superintendent into community activities really foster a smooth transition for the new relationships in the community.
  • Leadership at the small high school level is one of the top indicators of the potential for long-term change to sustain itself in small districts.
  • As a principal/superintendent you can present a clear vision and support it directly with your actions.
  • When dissention happens in a small district it does not have to last. If all people really want to work for change they can make change a reality for their school(s).
  • A community needs a gathering point to review what has been achieved in the school over the year. I started my “State of the Schools”  slide shows in my first spring at Long Creek. The community found it helpful in setting goals and asking questions about where to go next.

What I accomplished in my role as Superintendent in Long Creek:

  • Guided the district through a mission and vision development process that defined our district’s vision mission with a few guiding beliefs that became our foundation in decision-making for the district.
  • Negotiated a new four-year contract with the licensed bargaining unit.
  • Graduation rate of 100% for the two years as superintendent/principal.
  • Secured a grant that provided music instruction to our school and a neighboring school.
  • Worked with school board members to develop process and procedures that improved board meeting climate, productivity, and developed a superintendent evaluation process that included the development of both the Board’s and superintendent goals.
  • As Special Education Director I worked closely with our ESD partners to implement standards based IEP goals and improve classroom access for special needs students.
  • As Federal Programs Director I worked with the Oregon Department of Education to re-establish the Title I program to support our students’ academic needs.

I really enjoyed the challenge that Long Creek posed, it was a long way from my home in Salem, but the community was so supportive and gracious that it made my time away from home fly by. Plus, I was able to build a schedule where I could teach classes again both at the elementary and secondary level.

The Long Creek School Board was a really nice group, and they were excited about the potential for their small district. I was looking for a chance to learn about administrative areas I had yet to experience. It turned out to be a good match.

I served the Long Creek Board as Superintendent/Principal of the K-12 school, Special Education Director, Federal Programs/Grants Director, Athletic Director and staff development coordinator.

I was tasked with helping the community define its vision and improve its academic programs in a very rural K-12 setting. Fortunately we had a good group of superintendents in our area that worked closely with the Grant ESD to find opportunities. That combined with a little creative grant writing really improved the high school offerings. When I left Long Creek we had a rejuvenated agriculture program, an on-site Spanish teacher (we shared with another nearby district) and advanced placement Calculus A/B.

Some of the best work we did was the work on vision and mission development. This work paved the way for future success I would have in this area. In Long Creek we brought together local families and developed an extended network to encourage foreign exchange student to add some numbers to our high school, we even got them to attend the prom. We developed a grant writer group that brought ETHOS music to Long Creek and Monument for music classes and after school music lesson. We also found funding for the Missoula Children’s Theatre.

Long Creek is in a beautiful part of central Oregon and the people were great, it was just too far from our aging parents and our children who were rooted in the Willamette Valley. But I miss the beauty of the land and the people; it was special place to get my start as a superintendent.