David SheldonNorth Marion School District officials have filled the first of four positions to their administrative team, and they didn’t have to look far.

David Sheldon has been selected as the new North Marion Middle School principal of operations. Sheldon is currently a teacher on special assignment (TOSA) at Valor Middle School in Woodburn.

North Marion officials are still actively searching for and interviewing candidates for the North Marion Primary School vice principal, North Marion High School vice principal and athletic director for grades 6-12.

The middle school principal position was open because Barb Keeton has been appointed assistant director of secondary teaching and learning starting next year.

Sheldon has been at Valor Middle School for 14 years, first as a teacher and then serving in the TOSA role. But he was drawn to North Marion, not only for the leadership opportunities it presented, but also for its agrarian feel.

“Having been a country boy in Bend back when it was a small town, I love the fact that North Marion has such a country heritage,” he said. “If you stand in one section of the elementary building and look down a hall, you see a beautiful wooden barn. The fact that it draws from rural communities appeals to my own history as my first job was working on a ranch.”

He said he enjoys working with the middle school level because children that age are often misunderstood.

“They are the ones in the middle, meaning that they are going through extreme cognitive and physical changes that need the right people to foster care, development and inclusion for each of them,” Sheldon explained. “I understand them. That is my heart; I am good at letting this age group feel liked and therefore, motivating them to succeed. It is what I have done and want to continue to do for years to come.”

Sheldon did admit he is sad to leave Woodburn.

“I cannot fully express how many incredible people work for the district,” he said. “In today’s polarizing views of public education it is easy to point fingers and look at numbers that indicate possible failure; however, I would encourage any naysayer to spend time with a Woodburn teacher and dare them to not fall in love with what they see and experience. I think so highly of Woodburn it is hard to leave. I do so with an equal share of sadness and excitement.”

Officials at North Marion are also excited to start working with Sheldon, who begins July 1 at North Marion.

“He comes to us with glowing recommendations as a high energy, optimistic and highly competent educator,” Superintendent Boyd Keyser said on the district website. “We feel his professional experience and diverse background will be a great fit for the middle school.”

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