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Former Estacada High Principal has been hired as superintendent of the school district hrough 2021.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Ryan Carpenter was recently hired as superintendent of the Estacada School District through 2021.

Ryan Carpenter has been hired as superintendent of the Estacada School District through 2021.

During a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 8, school board members unanimously voted to hire Carpenter, who had previously been serving as interim superintendent, as the district's permanent leader.

"Ryan has been doing an outstanding job," said school board Chairman Ben Wheeler during the meeting. "(The district) is working in the right direction. Overall, there's a much better feeling in the community."

Carpenter, who was previously principal of Estacada High School, was hired as interim superintendent earlier this year after Marla Stephenson announced her retirement.

"My heart is truly in this district," Carpenter said during the Nov. 8 meeting. "As a new superintendent, I'm thankful to have a deep knowledge of the district and to have established relationships."

Carpenter was principal at Estacada High School from 2015-17, and prior to that, he had taught social studies at the school since 2009.

School board member Rochelle Shibahara praised Carpenter for what he had accomplished during his tenure as interim superintendent.

"I'm really grateful for all you've been doing these past few months. We've had huge progress, especially with communication," she told him during the Nov. 8 meeting. One of Carpenter's decisions as interim superintendent was to hire a communications coordinator to strengthen both internal and external communication for the district.

School board member Jeromy Adamson noted that he appreciated the team of fellow leaders Carpenter had assembled.

"You're fresh as a superintendent, and I'm impressed with the team you've built around you," he commented during the meeting. "It's important to build that team around you."

Carpenter added that he believes having a strong leadership team is valuable for the school district and the students it serves.

"It's a team game," he said. "(To do) the heavy lifting for the kids is going to take a team."

In other news

  • Wednesday, Nov. 8, marked the school board's first meeting in the Estacada High School choir room, the group's new home. Previously, the board met in the Clackamas River Elementary School library, but switched places because of the time it took to prepare the library for the meeting and, in turn, the impact it had on the students. The choir room was repainted and furnished with new desks for the board meetings. Carpenter said he was grateful for "the opportunity to build Estacada in a formal fashion."
  • School District Communications Coordinator Maggie Kelly has been focusing on creating videos for the district's social media channels. A recent video about professional learning communities garnered 500 views the first day it was on Facebook. Kelly noted that she hopes to "highlight things behind the scenes" for the community.
  • Marcia Hahn, director of operations for the school district, noted that transportation staff and district leadership have been preparing for potential inclement weather that the winter season may bring. The district has held strategic meetings to develop a plan for how to get students to school in snowy weather, and snow routes have been updated on the district website. "We're ready to hit the road," Hanh said.
  • District leaders are researching the potential of having GPS tracking devices on school buses so students and their families could see when a bus would reach a certain stop. "(Arrival) times can vary during inclement weather," Hanh noted.
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