Jeff Rose expected to take over larger district in suburban Atlanta

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Beaverton School District Supertendent Jeff Rose is expected to take a job in suburban Atlanta.The Beaverton School District needs a new superintendent.

District officials announced Thursday morning that Superintendent Jeff Rose is the only finalist for superintendent of Fulton County Schools, a suburban Atlanta school district more than twice as large as the Beaverton district.

The Beaverton School Board will choose an interim superintendent for the upcoming 2016-17 school year and use that time to conduct a “comprehensive search for the next leader of Beaverton schools,” according to the announcement.

The local announcement, timed with a live news conference held in Georgia, said that the Fulton County Board of Education expects to complete a two-week public comment period and then formally offer the position to Rose by April 1. If accepted, he would take over management of Georgia's fourth-largest school district on June 1.

Rose called his years leading the Beaverton district "tremendously rewarding."

Perhaps Rose's most-anticipated final task in Beaverton will be to set final high school attendance boundaries and transition plans for high-school boundaries affected by the changes. His decision in the controversial process, which can't help but leave some district residents unhappy, will be based on a recommendation of a committee that currently is wrapping up work started in 2015.

“For the past five years, Superintendent Rose has shared his passion, talent and hard work with the students, staff, and community of the Beaverton School District,” Anne Bryan, chair of the Beaverton School Board, said in the statement.

“As Superintendent, he directed the district through shrinking budgets, refocused efforts to promote equitable student achievement, inspired innovative classroom practices and galvanized the community to collectively support our students. While superintendent, he has strengthened staff, fostered positive relationships with students, and partnered with local and state education leaders.  We are grateful for Dr. Rose’s leadership and wish him the best in his new opportunity as he strives to empower all students for post-high school success.”

Rose, 43, has been superintendent in Beaverton since 2011, after serving in the same role in the Canby School District.

His Beaverton tenure included large staff cuts in the wake of the Great Recession and more recently a period of recovery with a better economy and voter-approved funding for operations and capital improvements, including new schools now in development.

He will have challenges in Fulton County Schools as well, including achievement gaps among that system's 96,000 students, about two-thirds of whom are members of minority groups. Beaverton is Oregon's third-largest school district, and half of its 41,000 students are members of a minority group.

"Dr. Rose meets the criteria set forth in our recent community survey that asked parents, staff and other stakeholders what they want in their next superintendent," Linda McCain, president of the Fulton County School Board, said in their own announcement. "This job requires a skillset often found among the top CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and the board has been diligent in making this choice. We are confident we have the right new leader to help us continue to close our achievement gap and build on our current strengths."

Rose takes over for Robert Avossa, who left Fulton to become superintendent of the Palm Beach County School District in Florida. They know each other as members of the Large Countywide and Suburban District Consortium, which represents some of the most successful school systems in the nation.

Avossa said Rose "has a deep passion for ensuring all kids learn and reach their full potential. He has found a way to support traditional educational values while being innovative and strategic. Fulton County Schools has an optimistic future with Dr. Rose."

Rose's salary in Beaverton for the current school year is $200,797, and he will receive nearly a 50 percent raise by moving his family across the country. Rose's three-year contract with Fulton is expected to pay $295,000 annually, according to several Georgia media outlets.

Statement from Jeff Rose:

“The Beaverton School District is an incredible place to serve, lead and learn. I know how fortunate I am to work on behalf of our students and community. The Beaverton community supports and collaborates with us in so many ways. I am very grateful.

“My five years in Beaverton have been tremendously rewarding.Even our challenges have shaped our schools for the future in immeasurable ways. We have exhibited our character, honed our collective vision and continue to demonstrate our commitment to excellence, equity, innovation and collaboration. While my decision to transition to Fulton County Schools in Georgia has not been an easy one, I have faith that it is what is best for my family and for me. I will serve to the best of my ability.

“Our work will never be complete. It is always a journey and a pursuit of continual progress. For the coming months I remain committed to serving the Beaverton School District community with integrity and genuine care. The Beaverton School District is in good hands with a strong school board and leadership team.”

By Eric Apalategui
Beaverton Reporter
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