CCSD adds new district improvement position
A current Crook County High School leader is moving up to a new district director position.
Joel Hoff, who has served as CCHS assistant principal since 2012, will transition into the new director of school improvement role in January.
Crook County School District Superintendent Sara Johnson proposed the creation of the new director position and hiring Hoff to fill the new role during a school board meeting Monday evening.
Board members eagerly passed the motion.
They also approved a contract with independent education consultant Marsha Moyer, who will fill in at CCHS in Hoff's absence.
Next spring, the district will advertise for a high school assistant principal.
Johnson said the CCSD is working hard on five priorities to improve the district.
"It takes leadership and support to improve. We need Joel's skills to help improve the system," she said, noting that was part of the reason for creating this new position. "Our team of educators is using the gifts and skills Joel brings to the district."
She noted that leaders throughout the district are requesting Hoff's assistance to collect, organize and interpret data. They use his support to not only teach educators to interpret data but to better coach around the data and around data-based interventions.
She said, however, that they have been expecting Hoff to do two jobs at one time — serve as assistant principal and as data analyst/intervention specialist.
"Mr. Hoff has been working multiple hours every day, visiting multiple school sites and all the while serving as the vice principal at the high school," Johnson said.
She created this new position mid-year so Hoff could focus primarily on district improvement.
"He has specialized skills, and this proposal requires a specialized set of skills. We don't have another person on our internal team who has that set of skills," Johnson said.
"We believe it is best for our students, teachers, administrators and system to put more personnel in to support the work of the vice principal and district," she added.
Before coming to CCSD in July, Johnson worked in Klamath County School District as a director of school improvement.
"The director of school improvement is a connection from the building-level work to the district direction and priorities," Johnson said. "The director of school improvement can make a big difference in student outcomes by serving to support administrators and teachers."
Locally, the position was created using funding from the ending fund balance for the 2018-19 school year and High School Success (Measure 98) money.
Johnson said the position increases the district's personnel costs by three-quarters of a director's position in 2018-19, and it will add a full director's position going forward at approximately $105,000 per year, plus the cost of benefits.
Hoff will work closely with CCSD Director of Curriculum and Instruction Stacy Smith.
Hoff's new duties will include carrying out district-improvement initiatives; supporting staff in updating systems to foster student achievement and school improvement; developing systems to support improvement; helping implement board goals; collaborating with stakeholders to improve district priorities; supporting administrators with data collection, analysis and presentation; and coaching teachers in analyzing and using data to improve instruction.
He will also work with and support Smith in assisting administrators in school-improvement initiatives; will be responsible for academic growth for all student groups; and will implement professional development.
Hoff looks forward to his new position.
He was born and raised in Eugene and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon. He earned a master's degree in teaching from Pacific University, an administrative license from Lewis and Clark College, and a professional administrative license from Concordia University.
For a year, he was a middle school teacher at St. Francis K-8 School before working as a middle school teacher and athletic director for four years for the Salem-Keizer School District. He then transferred to CCSD, where he has been CCHS assistant principal and AVID district director for six years.
Hoff and his wife have three small children, and he is working on a doctorate of education from George Fox University and plans to graduate in April.
"Unfortunately, rural communities are often overlooked in educational research," Hoff said. "My doctoral research is focused on creating a model to more accurately predict and support at-risk students within rural communities."
He was primarily interested in this director position because it provides the opportunity to continue to work with a talented group of administrators and teachers.
"We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and hardworking group of educators within our district," Hoff said. "I hope to build on the tremendous progress we've made with our students' literacy and mathematics skills as well as graduation and attendance rates. While we've come a long ways, there is still a great deal of work to be done."
He will begin his new position after winter break but will continue to work eight hours a week at CCHS during designated times and will provide support when needed.
"We've worked closely as an administrative team to ensure a smooth transition," he said.
Moyer, who will fill in for Hoff at CCHS for the remainder of the school year, has supported district improvement throughout the Northwest. She worked for more than three years with local administrators on instructional calibration and teacher observation improvement.
"She has positive relationships and strong trust levels with all of our local educators," Johnson said. "She loves and respects our district, and she thinks it's a privilege to work in our district."
Moyer resides in Salem and will work 60 school days between December and June.
The team, Johnson said, is strategically scheduling her days to maximize her service in CCSD.
"She is prepared to provide teacher evaluation and support, administrative coaching, leadership of professional learning for growth and development, and to mentor teacher leaders and district administrators," Johnson said.
While Johnson noted that mid-year transitions can be unsettling, she received unanimous support from school board members.
"This is the second time that a different superintendent has come forward with the same proposal," Board Chair Scott Cooper pointed out, noting his support.
Board member Doug Smith said Hoff's ability to look at data and create connections with students is an asset to the district.
"I think that it will help us reach that next level," he said.
"I'm excited the board of directors understands the scope and importance of district improvement work we are doing," she said. "They value our top-notch people and are willing to establish a structure that can move us forward. The direction CCSD is going is up, and we know our schools will be the best in the region because of the quality of our educators."