Michael Musick announces resignation
Michael Musick, the Lake Oswego School District's executive director of school management, announced Friday that he will resign for personal reasons at the end of June.
Musick, who supports and leads the work of local principals, said he will be returning to Colorado to be closer to family and friends. He joined the LOSD in July 2015 after serving as a top-level administrator in Colorado with three degrees and more than three decades of experience in education.
"Since that time, he has been instrumental in implementing new strategies and support systems for students, and in leading the school start-time change process that occurred this year," LOSD Communication Director Nancy Duin said in an emailed statement.
Musick listed several accomplishments during his time in Lake Oswego, including working with local principals to provide more challenging opportunities for students. Principals now allow all incoming freshmen to take Honors English, and one-third of the district's fifth-graders now have access to at least one grade level of math advancement; three years ago, only 30 students had the opportunity to take more rigorous math classes.
Musick also pointed to success in establishing tutoring centers that support students who are "struggling to keep up."
"These centers, along with our teacher collaboration time, have provided support for our most at-risk students and cut our failure rates dramatically," he said.
Musick said he's proud of all the work principals have done during his time here.
"The principalship is the most challenging position in education, and it is not getting any easier," Musick said. "I hope that during my time in LO that they became better leaders and that my support was important to their development."
He said he's also proud of helping the district move forward with a later start time for high school and junior high school students, a plan he said will support "the health and well-being of our teens."
While with the LOSD, Musick has also served as the district's Title IX coordinator, responsible for creating equal opportunities in athletics for students and spearheading an effort to address Title IX complaints. He said both high schools have made great strides in improving equal access to sports.
"Next year, both schools will have more teams than ever before, and we are projecting the same number of athletic teams for both boys and girls," Musick said. "This is due to increasing female participation rates."
His jocular nature and his efforts to always improve things have made it a pleasure to work with Musick, said Sarah Cagann, an executive assistant in Curriculum and Educational Programs who works at the central administration with Musick.
"While Dr. Musick certainly has a great sense of humor, it has been his dedication toward students and his constant aim for improvements that has made it such a pleasure to work with him," Cagann said.
Before joining the LOSD, Musick served as the instructional superintendent of secondary schools at Blueprint Schools Network, which has a partnership with Denver Public Schools. He has served in several other leadership positions, such as achievement director of JeffCo Public Schools in Colorado.
Musick first met LOSD Superintendent Heather Beck at JeffCo when they were both school principals in that district. He said he and Beck share similar views on education, preferring innovative programming that allows all children to perform well academically.
"We had similar philosophies and we both enjoy learning, and so I'm excited to work with her and her team," Musick said at the time.
He told The Review last week that he has been "blessed to work for such an amazing leader" who espouses a districtwide motto of inclusivity.
"She has allowed me the opportunity to help my leaders create inclusive and safe schools," Musick said. "I believe someday soon, because of her leadership, 'All Means All' will happen and each child will find success and graduate from our schools."
Musick came to LOSD shortly after Beck visited Colorado in 2015 for a mutual friend's retirement party. She ran into Musick and mentioned the job opening in her district, and he soon submitted his application. He subsequently won over an 11-member committee that included district administrators, school administrators, teachers and classified staff.
Beck said at the time that she was "confident that his leadership skills and academic focus will be an excellent fit for our high-performing schools."
She told The Review this week that after working with him for 10 years, "I'm a better educator because of him."
"He has made a significant contribution to our schools in a short time, and we are fortunate to have had two years of his expertise and instructional leadership," Beck said. "His departure will be a great loss, for the district and for me, personally, but we wish him all the happiness he deserves in his future endeavors."
Musick started his career in 1982 as a teacher at Clayton High School in Missouri. In 2012, the nonprofit Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT) honored him as its Administrator of the Year when he was the principal of Conifer High School in Conifer, Colo.
He 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.
In 2015, Musick told The Review that one of the best ways to help students is to offer them opportunities to shine in what they do best. Gifted students sometimes can drift through or even drop out of school because they are bored.
"We've got to hold onto these kids," he said at the time. "It's our responsibility to help them find their passion and be successful in high school and not get lost."
Musick said he now plans to consider opportunities in the field of education or consulting as they arise after returning to Colorado.
"After 36 years working in schools, I am in a position to choose the next step. But right now, I don't have one," he said. "It should be fun waiting until something wonderful comes along."