Bend-La Pine Schools superintendent to resign; accepts role with regional ed agency

Bend-La Pine Schools announced Tuesday that Superintendent Shay Mikalson will resign from the district after accepting a job with the High Desert Education Service District.

He will make the official announcement at the Nov. 12th school board meeting. Mikalson’s new position as Chief Student Success Officer for the ESD begins in July.

Bend-La Pine School Board co-chairs Julie Craig and Carrie McPherson Douglass say the board will meet on Wednesday to begin discussing the search process for Mikalson’s replacement.

“We will be announcing our next steps for our search process in the days to come and look forward to working with the community to select the next leader of Bend-La Pine Schools,” McPherson Douglass said in a statement. “The Bend-La Pine Schools’ Board is excited for the opportunity to continue the legacy of excellence in teaching and learning and to push our district even further towards our vision of an equitable and innovative system of schools that serves all students well.”

“We are grateful for Shay’s leadership over the past four and a half years as superintendent – we made progress in our efforts to provide a world class education to every student in Bend- La Pine,” said Craig. “Bend-La Pine Schools has every ingredient necessary to live up to that promise, with consistent community support, strong leadership and amazing educators and staff.”

Mikalson’s decision means Central Oregon’s two largest school districts will be looking for new leaders at the same time. Redmond School District Superintendent Mike McIntosh, who actually replaced Mikalson after two years as superintendent in Redmond, is also retiring at the end of the year.

Prior to being named superintendent in Bend in 2015, Mikalson served as the district’s assistant superintendent and director of instructional technology.

Mikalson says the last eight years with Bend-La Pine Schools have been some of the best in his career.

“I am proud of the gains that have taken place in our district – from broadening our definition of success to dramatically increasing graduation rates and passing the biggest construction bond in our history,” he said.

Since Mikalson joined the District in 2011, more than 2,500 new students have enrolled, three new schools have been constructed, and new a high school under construction today.

“We work diligently to build upon our successes in order to deliver the best teaching and learning environment in Oregon,” Mikalson said. “This year, we celebrated our best ever graduation rate, the Class of 2018 received more than $13 million in college scholarship offers, our students scored 57 points higher on the SATs than peers around the state, and we have refined our efforts to ensure every staff member and student have the teaching and learning environments they need to be successful.”

“I believe the collective work taking place today in our schools and departments reflects the very best our state has to offer and our district is well set up for success when my successor joins the district,” he added. “I am extremely proud to say that I have been a part of our district’s amazing team.”

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