EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – Doctor Sheldon Berman addressed the 4J staff Thursday for the first time.
Right off the bat, he thanked Mayor Kitty Piercy, the 4J staff who helped in negotiations and former superintendent George Russell.
Aside from making some jokes, Doctor Berman referenced briefly the budget shortfall and other challenges in the district. His address mainly referenced collaboration efforts for innovation and teamwork. His presented ideas and invitation for dialogue and kept the room positive about the upcoming school year.
With increasing expectations from the state and federal levels and limited to decreasing funds, the effort needs to increase in order to sustain.
“I don’t have the magic bullet. The way we’re going to work together…I see this as a process. I think we will take steps and it isn’t something to come into and say we’re going to be dramatically different,” Berman told NewsSource 16.
The 4J staff members were happy to hear Berman’s ideas and even offered a standing ovation. They especially liked that Berman recognized his ideas are already being put to action.
“It’s not so much that everything is innovation. It’s moving toward different ways of looking at stuff, moving toward more collaborative points of view, moving toward more proficiency based teaching and those things take a collaborative effort,” Doug Kelley, principal at the Arts Academy at North Eugene High School, said.
Kelley, like others, said there wasn’t anything Berman left out that he had expected answers to.
“This is a school district that I believe I can engage, we can engage, in a dialogue,” Berman added.
He ended his address with a Psalm, called “Shoulders,” suggesting the entire district should improve if each staff member stands shoulder to shoulder helping one another help the students.