PRINEVILLE, OR --Crook County School District Superintendent has been named the best in the state. Dr. Sara Johnson was awarded Oregon Superintendent of the Year in a surprise ceremony at Crook County High School on Wednesday.
In an emotional speech, Johnson said she doesn’t do it alone. “Unbelievable. This team. It isn’t a surprise to me that we’re successful. It is a surprise that I’m a superintendent of such a successful district. These people have put an incredible amount of work into this district. Nothing is too great to ask of them; they do it. I’m probably the weakest link.”
Krista Parent, with the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators, says the district’s success tells only part of the story. “95.2% freshman on-track rate; a 98.2% four-year graduation rate; a 79% alternative school graduation rate. A special ed graduation rate that’s 20% higher than the state average. Now, you may just think that’s the norm because it probably is here. But these things don’t happen by chance.”
She says Johnson was also chosen because of her caring attitude and leadership ability. “Dr. Johnson has prioritized creating a safe and secure learning environment, where it is safe to take risks and where failure becomes an opportunity for growth. She does this, not just by hardening the exterior of our schools to make them safer, but by softening the hearts of those inside those schools.”
Dr. Johnson has been Crook County Superintendent since 2018. She’s now in the running for 2023 national superintendent of the year.