Patrick Tomblin, executive director of student services, retires
"It's just time."
That's what Patrick Tomblin, Lake Oswego School District executive director of student services, said about his upcoming retirement.
"The senior class this year was my first kindergarten class. ... I've seen a whole group go through K-12," he said.
Tomblin has been with the district for 13 years. His wife retired last year and they're building a house in his home state of Florida where they'll retire. Tomblin said he's looking forward to the sunshine and sandy beaches.
"And it's kind of going back to my roots," he said.
Tomblin is from Miami. It was there, in sixth grade, that his passion for working in special education came about.
That year was the first that students needing special services had a building on his school's campus. Before that, services were outsourced. He became a peer mentor that year and eventually took on a career in special education.
Tomblin said he's had a lot of great memories at LOSD over the years.
"The best moments are when parents call me or send me letters about how their kids are doing after their school years," he said.
When Tomblin first started working with the district, he said many student services were happening outside the district — similar to what he saw growing up in Miami. Now that's not the case.
"Most kids receive services within our school district," he said.
He said one of the best things the district did in his time was taking steps to support students in programs like ACCESS, Pathways and DELTA. These programs provide varied services for students needing specialized education.
"Over the 13 years, we've worked to build much more inclusive classrooms where students have the opportunity to learn alongside their general education peers," he said.
Tomblin said the district's next step is probably to make sure students can receive those services within their school building — right now students may have to travel to a different school for those services.
He expressed his thankfulness to the whole community for working with him on making student services accessible.
"I certainly could not have done this without the marvelous staff members that we have. Our teachers are fantastic and go above and beyond," he said.
Tomblin also said he couldn't have done it without the support of parents and the Student Services Parent Advisor Committee (SSPAC).
Lake Grove Principal Scott Schinderle will step in as interim executive director of student services. He said when the permanent position opens up, he'll most likely apply.
He's been the principal at Lake Grove for four years, and before that he was the executive director of student services in Hillsboro School District.
Schinderle, now in his 20th year in education, received his teaching license in general education and special education, and started out as a middle school teacher.
"Of course, special education support services are near and dear to my heart," Schinderle said. "I hold a strong belief that all students should receive a high quality education."
He said he's looking forward to working at the district level.
"This position allows me to have a broader impact on the entire district," he said.
But that doesn't mean he won't be missed at the school level.
"Lots of folks have reached out with sadness and congradulations," he said.
Shinderle will begin his interim role in February.
"I am eager and excited to fill in in the interim executive director role and looking forward again to collaborating with more families and LOSD staff," he said.
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