Johnson, who was chosen from a field of two finalists, will take over the position on July 1

HOLLY SCHOLZ - Dr. Sara Johnson is announced as new Crook County School District Superintendent.The Crook County School District Board of Directors announced Wednesday that it has selected Dr. Sara E. Johnson as the district's next superintendent.

Johnson will take over the position on July 1, succeeding current Superintendent Duane Yecha. The School Board and Johnson are working on the terms of a tentative agreement, which will be finalized at a public meeting on April 5.

"We had an outstanding field of 26 candidates for the superintendent position. With the assistance of a team of staff and community, we thoroughly reviewed the applications and selected several for initial interviews," said Board Chair Doug Smith. "From the initial interviews, we narrowed the field of candidates to two finalists. We reference-checked the finalists and invited them to spend a day in our district meeting with many groups of staff followed by a community forum."

Smith said the board concluded their day here with a second round of interviews, and while both finalists were excellent, Johnson emerged as the right fit.

"She has been highly successful in her current district and community and she feels like the right person to take our district into the future," he said.

Since 2016, Johnson has been the director of assessment, equity and school improvement for the Klamath County School District in Klamath Falls, which serves about 6,500 students. Before that, she spent three years as the superintendent for the Sumner School District in Sumner, Washington, which has a student enrollment of about 9,500. Other administrative experience includes four years as assistant superintendent at Lincoln County School District in Newport, which serves 5,200 students.

Smith added that Johnson was named Oregon Principal of the Year and National Distinguished Principal in 2007, and that for the last several years she has served as an adjunct professor for Southern Oregon University and George Fox University. Johnson obtained a doctorate degree in educational leadership from George Fox University as well as a master's degree in teaching education from Eastern Oregon University.

Johnson, age 56, was raised in Burns and lives in Klamath Falls with her husband, Tom Johnson. He was also an educator and retired as vice principal from Burns High School. They have two adult children, who are both registered nurses. Her son lives in Eugene, and her daughter, son-in-law, and 2-year-old grandchild live in Klamath Falls.

"My priorities are learning, safety, and facilitation of continuous improvement. Public education is powerful and important. It has the potential to change the world through developing knowledge, skills and attitudes in children." Johnson said regarding her philosophy for education. "All educators need to continuously learn and improve, responding with agility to the children and culture. I am excited to become the next superintendent and working with the staff, students, parents and community at Crook County School District to see how much we can accomplish together."

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