Adam Mitchell takes the helm at Sherwood High School, replacing Melissa Baran.

COURTESY PHOTO: SHERWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT - Adam Mitchell becomes interim principal at Sherwood High School, replacing Melissa BaranA new interim principal has joined the immense and sparkling new Sherwood High School.

Effective right away, Adam Mitchell will take the helm at the school, which opens full-time to students this September.

The Sherwood School District made the announcement Tuesday, July 13.

The district says this position fills the vacancy left by Melissa Baran, who will be joining the Tigard-Tualatin School District as associate director of teaching and learning.

During his time with the Sherwood School District, Mitchell has served as a math teacher, a dean of students, and associate principal at both Laurel Ridge Middle School and Sherwood High School. Mitchell joined the school district in 2009.

Before joining the Sherwood School District, Mitchell taught math in the Tigard-Tualatin School District, as well as in Reno, Nevada, and Singapore.

Mitchell, who lives in Sherwood, attended Oregon State University for his Bachelors of Science in Speech Communications. He received a Masters in Teaching at Pacific University.

Remarks Baran made during a school board work session earlier this year sparked controversy. Baran noted at that Jan. 20 meeting that the U.S. education system has roots in racism and oppression. Some parents took to social media to complain about Baran's comments, with one Facebook post labeling Baran, who is Black, as a "BLM Marxist."

Superintendent Heather Cordie stood behind Baran, defending her in a Jan. 29 letter to the community in which she wrote Baran "shared true facts — specifically, that the system of education in general, in its current format, does not work for all students, families, or staff members; that the system of education has a historical context of oppression and white supremacy; and that there is a need to move forward in a way that no longer perpetuates systematic marginalization of under-represented student groups."

Baran's interim replacement, Mitchell, said in the Sherwood School District's announcement that he is looking forward to his new position.

"I am humbled and honored to be selected for this opportunity," Mitchell said. "In addition, I am excited to be able to work with Sherwood High School students, staff and families in this new role to continue the excellence that has always been at the core of the school and the district, as well as constantly striving to improve our system to be more inclusive and welcoming for everyone."

Cordie, in the district announcement, said, "In Mr. Mitchell's six years as an administrator in the Sherwood School District, he has demonstrated a strong focus on collaboration with staff and other administrators, a willingness to go above and beyond to support student learning, and a passion for building strong relationships with students, staff and families."

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