School district hires HR director
Sean Corrigan was ready for a new challenge.
So, when he saw the human resources director position open up for the Crook County School District, he threw his hat into the ring, not knowing if he even stood a chance at his old stompin' grounds.
"It was appealing from the standpoint that it was a new challenge for me in my career," says Corrigan, who will take the HR director position on Jan. 2, replacing Jayel Hayden.
The 56-year-old Bend native has spent 33 years at Mountain View High School in Bend, where he is an assistant principal.
"Sean has a lot of experience in education, and I think he's going to help move the district mission goals forward," Hayden said.
Hayden came to the district in the summer of 2010. Back then, Rich Shultz was HR director.
"When he left, the economy was bad, and the Crook County School District at that time looked to the ESD to provide them some HR support rather than replacing his full-time position," Hayden explained.
Hayden is an employee of the High Desert Education Service District and splits his time between Crook County and Sisters school districts and the HDESD, spending two days a week in Prineville.
Crook County had been considering hiring its own full-time human resources director, but when Paul Andrews became HDESD superintendent July 1, he got the ball rolling.
"He gave Crook County notice that they would need to go out and get their own. He'd like to have my time back at ESD starting with the 18-19 school year," Hayden pointed out.
He will help Corrigan with the transition and end his services to Crook County June 30, 2018.
Hayden said he was impressed with Corrigan's temperament and calm demeanor as well has his intellect for this type of job.
"He hasn't been an HR director, but he's dealt with a lot of personnel issues in his administrative work for the Bend-La Pine School District," Hayden said, noting that he was a teacher for more than 20 years. "He has that knowledge of education and administration and can take all of that to be an effective HR director for the district."
Corrigan said Hayden's work over the past eight years in Crook County made the job even more appealing.
"CCSD educators I visited with all indicated that he has been a great asset to the district. I look forward to receiving on-the-job training and mentorship from him in this new position," Corrigan said.
And Hayden says he's enjoyed his time here.
"There's been some difficult work that I've had to go through down there, but we've got a great staff and a great community," Hayden said. "It's a great group of educators and staff that are working for the kids of Crook County, and I couldn't be prouder of being part of that group."
Prineville is not foreign to Corrigan.
His first teaching job fresh out of Oregon State University in 1984 was a social studies and English teacher at Crook County High School. He was even an assistant coach for the state champion Cowboy football team that year.
"I always tell people that was probably the most enjoyable year I've had in my education career. It was a lot of fun," Corrigan said.
After one year at CCHS, he moved back to Bend and took a job as a social studies teacher at Mountain View High School, where he's been ever since. He also taught law and criminal justice for years before moving out of the classroom and into the assistant principal position. This year is his 12th year in that role.
"I always communicated that I was going to stick around at Mountain View High School long enough for my boys to get through, and I saw this position open up, and I said now's the perfect time for me to make a move if it happens," he said.
His wife, Tracy, is a nurse at St. Charles, and his two sons attend Oregon State University. He also has an eighth-grade daughter. He plans to continue to live in Bend and make the daily trek to Prineville come January.
His starting salary through June 30 will be $52,600, according to Hayden. Then, he'll make $105,300 annually for 260 days of work.
"I've supported students as a teacher for 22 years and I've been able to support students and staff for the last 12 as a building administrator, and now it's kind of a natural progression for me to be in a district-level position to be able to support students, staff and administrators as well as the entire district in this position," Corrigan said. "I was looking for an opportunity for a new challenge and growth as an educator, and this provided all those opportunities."
As HR director, Corrigan will manage district staff, provide administrative leadership for projects, and will be responsible for hiring and disciplining employees. Duties also include overseeing staff performance evaluations, labor relations and employee benefits.
He has signed up for some classes in the coming year to learn more about his new position.
"I've done a lot of human resources work over my career in the buildings, and I know schools, and I know how buildings work and how schools work, but I'm going to have to really work hard to learn to get up to speed on the district-level human resources component," he said.
He wants to maintain and add to the momentum that CCSD has going right now.
"Things are going in the right direction, financially, socially, culturally, and I really want to maintain and add to that momentum," Corrigan said. "I think the administrators, the teachers and the staff deserve to have somebody there every day, and I want to be available to do that."
He wants to build trusting relationships with all the stakeholders involved in the Crook County schools and be able to build morale within the district.
"Building staff morale has a direct effect on student achievement," he said.
When he came to the job interview, he ran into quite a few people who he's known over the years.
"There are so many great things about the community there in Prineville that just made it feel right," Corrigan said. "I'm energetically looking forward to my next several years there doing this job."