Lake Oswego School District tentatively picks Musick to be interim superintendent
In a unanimous vote, the Lake Oswego School Board moved Tuesday night to offer current Assistant Superintendent Mike Musick the position of interim superintendent.
The decision, which is tentative pending final negotiations between Musick and the board, comes just weeks after Superintendent Heather Beck announced her intention to leave the district for a job as deputy head of school for the Canadian International School in Singapore.
Beck's last day will be June 30. Under terms discussed by the board Tuesday, Musick will serve for one year — beginning on July 1 — while the district conducts a nationwide search for a permanent superintendent.
Musick did not address the board Tuesday, but he expressed his willingness to accept the job in December, telling the board that "there's a long runway to finish some of Heather's work, her tenure."
"I feel like I'm the person to do that," he said.
On Tuesday, board member Sara Pocklington put forward two motions. The first called for conducting a national search, beginning as soon as possible, for a permanent superintendent who would be in place for the 2019-2020 school year; it was approved unanimously.
"I think the consensus is that everyone is looking forward to a national search," Pocklington said, and other board members agreed.
"I support the motion because I believe it's important that we have community input," board member Bob Barman said. "This is a very important hire."
Board member Rob Wagner said it's important that the board give itself enough time to find the right superintendent.
"It feels like the community is still catching our breath about the news of Dr. Beck's departure," he said. "We should be intentional about really taking the time to be in the community with people and offering the time and the opportunities to give feedback. It's so important to get community voices as part of the search."
Pocklington's second motion, to appoint Musick as interim superintendent from July 1, 2018 to June 30 2019, was also unanimously approved.
"Dr. Musick absolutely embraced our district's values for an excellent school district from the first day he got here," said board member Liz Hartman. "He has been instrumental in working with our teachers and our principals to get to the next level. I wholeheartedly am very happy to vote in support of Dr. Musick."
Board Chair John wallin echoed those thoughts.
"He has made such a huge difference in our district," Wallin said. "I will be sad on June 30, but I will be excited on July 1."
The board will now negotiate the final details of a contract with Musick before making its decision final.
Musick, who currently serves as assistant superintendent of school leadership, has led the district's efforts to improve student achievement. For example, he established Academic Support Centers for all students, especially those who are struggling, as part of targeted intervention programs that aim to improve graduation rates.
During his tenure, Musick has worked to provide more challenging opportunities for students. The district now allows all incoming freshmen to take honors English if they want, for example, and significantly more fifth-graders now have access to more rigorous math classes.
Musick also was part of the team that researched and studied children's and teens' biorhythms and worked on logistics last year to make school start times later for teen students.
In addition, he has been serving as LOSD's Title IX coordinator, a position that is responsible for creating equal opportunities in athletics for students and spearheading an effort to address Title IX complaints. As part of that effort, Musick created and is facilitating an Athletics Task Force that will inform the district's Title IX efforts and support the work of the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee.
Musick joined the district in 2015, bringing with him years of experience in education. He previously served as the instructional superintendent of secondary schools at Blueprint Schools Network, which has a partnership with Denver Public Schools in Colorado. He has also held other leadership positions, such as achievement director for JeffCo Public Schools in Colorado; principal at Conifer High School in Conifer, Colo.; principal at Construction Careers Center Charter High School in St. Louis, Mo.; and associate principal, assistant principal and dean of students at Clayton High School in Clayton, Mo.
Musick received his doctorate in education administration at St. Louis University, his master's in education administration at Northeast Missouri State University and his bachelor's in business administration at Culver-Stockton College. He and his wife Beth live in West Linn and have two children, Lauren and Michael.