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Canby School Board chooses Aaron Downs, assistant superintendent of secondary schools at West Linn-Wilsonville.

COURTESY PHOTO - Dr. Aaron Downs is Canby School District's new superintendent.Canby's school board has chosen Aaron Downs as the school district's next leader.

"Aaron Downs's experiences as an educator, his commitment to equity and his inclusive leadership style make him the right person to lead our district forward," board chair Angi Dilkes said. "We engaged in an extensive process to involve the community in this hire, and the feedback from our stakeholders helped inform our selection."

The Wednesday, June 2, announcement comes on the heels of in-person interviews and community meet-and-greets with three finalists. Downs, who currently serves as the assistant superintendent of secondary schools in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, came out on top. He will take the reins July 1 and lead the district into a new school year.

"I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next superintendent of the Canby School District," Downs said. "I am excited to build upon Canby's student-centered systems as we work together to meet the district's Academic Vision. I look forward to getting to work in the coming weeks, jumping right into planning for our full return to in-person learning this fall."

Downs earned a bachelor's degree from George Fox University and a doctorate of education from Lewis and Clark College. Prior to his current position, Downs had worked as the principal of Wilsonville High School and as a high school teacher, adviser and coach.

"We know Dr. Downs is a trusted, transparent leader with a commitment to listening and learning about the needs of our district," Vice Chair Sara Magenheimer said. "Aaron Downs will partner with our educators and our families to ensure every student learns every day as they work toward their academic and growth goals."

Downs lives in Clackamas County with his wife and three children.

During the coming weeks, Downs will collaborate with the school board, community partners, school leaders, educators and families to learn more about the Canby School District as he transitions into his role in July.

The selection follows a three-month search that began after the current superintendent, Trip Goodall, announced his resignation March 3. Goodall opted to leave to pursue other opportunities.

On his way out, Goodall offered thanks and praise for Canby.

"I have enjoyed being your superintendent in ways you probably do not know," Goodall said. "Working in Canby has been a highlight of my career. I am very proud of what we have accomplished together. I have met extraordinary people, both in and outside of our schools."

Goodall is one of at least six area superintendents to resign this year.

Kristen Wohlers
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